What to do if while on vacation I walked out of a store with a pair of $20 sunglasses and 45 minutes later was arrested?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2013

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2013Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if while on vacation I walked out of a store with a pair of $20 sunglasses and 45 minutes later was arrested?

The shop owner refuses to settle out of court, and they are pressing charges. Should I plead guilty or not guilty? What will be the sentencing for a first time offender? What should I expect as far as fines and court fees go?

Asked on August 4, 2013 under Criminal Law, Maryland


Anthony Van Johnson / VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, L.L.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should definitely retain the services of an attorney.     A "theft" related conviction could haunt you for the rest of your life, especially in the area of employment  or even applying to certain schools.  I once observed a young lady in court who was charged with stealing a $1.20 pair of tweezers.  She was not represented by an attorney, and she thought it was no big deal.  The judge gave her 10 days in jail arguing that it is the aggregate of the thefts that cause merchants to suffer. Retain an attorney.  The attorney may be able to negotiate a dismissal.

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Hello. You are in need of attorney assistance, so do contact an attorney for help right away. If you are low income or poor, do apply for a public defender for help.  It is unwise to post on a public website. Hello. Do contact an attorney licensed in the involved state.This website provides general information and general principles of law and does not provide private legal advice. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.


Tricia Dwyer, Esq.

Phone: 612-296-9666

[email protected]



Stan Helinski / McKinley Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It's just a fine if it's your first offense and charged as shoplifting.  You should still speak with a lawyer to see if you may have a defense, but it's really a very small issue that will likely be dismissed.  The problem is whether you're an immigrant, the fact that it will show up on your criminal history, etc.  If you haven't reached a clerk's hearing yet and criminal charges haven't formally issued, i would speak with a lawyer to see if you could reach a resolution prior to it hitting your record.  

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption