Being arrested or given a citation for petty theft can be devastating for
most people. It may seem as though your world is caving in on you, but
there is help. Matthew Ruff has successfully defended good people
charged with all manner of theft related offense including the less serious
crime called "shoplifting" for over 25 years.
Call Matthew directly at 310-527-4100
Shoplifting or petty theft in Burbank is a common crime that occurs
when someone steals merchandise offered for sale from a retail store.
Shoplifting from retail stores results in many arrests each year. The
offense can be either a felony or misdemeanor depending upon the value
of the item taken and whether the person has prior convictions.
To be convicted of shoplifting, one must "intend" to permanently deprive
the merchant of the value of the merchandise. Individuals accused of
shoplifting in Burbank, Glendale or Pasadena are often confused about
the procedures for lawfully detaining someone suspected of theft from a
store. What are the rights of a person accused? Is what the store security
guard did legal? How much force can be used to detain someone who is
believed to have stolen merchandise? Does the accused need to hire a
Criminal Defense Lawyer? Why am I also being charged with Burglary?
The store security guard must generally see a shoplifter enter the store or
approach a display and see that the customer does not have any
merchandise in their hand or that they haven’t retrieved a item from their
own purse, bag, or pocket. This step prevents a common mistake that
occurs when a customer brings an item back to the store for a return and
does not check in at the return desk first. If security detains someone
after seeing them replace their own merchandise into their pocket or bag,
the store could be subject to a false theft arrest claim even though it is a
seemingly honest mistake. Many false arrest claims are filed by attorneys
because the store missed this important, but basic, first step.
Secondly, the security employee must see the suspected shoplifter select
the merchandise. Burbank Store employees can misunderstand when
they see a customer innocently put an item into their pocket or purse and
not realize that the customer had brought the item into the store with
them for comparison purposes. If the employee can positively and
honestly state that they saw the shoplifter remove store merchandise
from the display prior to concealing it, then they may have a strong
foundation for proof of shoplifting.
Furthermore, the employee must see the shoplifter conceal, carry away,
or convert the merchandise. This includes concealment in bags, baby
strollers, or on a person. Shoplifting can occur by wearing articles in
plain view once the tags are removed. Shoplifting can occur by
conversion, for example, when consuming food prior to being purchased.
An exception to the observation rule is inside a fitting room where
observation is impossible. Once inside a fitting room store merchandise
can be concealed almost anywhere. The important factor is to know
what items go into the fitting room and what items don't come out in
plain view. The problem is, the fitting room must be checked beforehand
to see if it is clear of merchandise and after the suspected person exits to
see that the missing items were not simply discarded.
Being arrested or ordered to appear in the Criminal Court on a
shoplifting or petty theft charge is a difficult and humiliating experience. I
sincerely sympathize with you, and you need to know that there is a
good chance that I can help you. I have many years of experience in
these cases and I've been able to help many people get their charges
reduced or dismissed. Even with the most difficult cases, a good
Burbank shoplifting defense lawyer will make sure you get the minimum
penalty possible and avoid jail and immigration consequences.
Acting on your case quickly is important. You see, we have a lot more
legal options available the earlier we get on a case. Ideally, I like to meet
with my client shortly after they are arrested. We have defended many
of these cases, and frankly, we have seen a lot of other lawyers make
the mistake of not immediately challenging the facts and circumstances
of the case. Don't delay in speaking with a attorney about your case.
Early Intervention can be a big advantage.
You may be asking yourself why you need a defense lawyer for a
"minor" shoplifting offense. It's simple, really: a good defense lawyer
who knows the shoplifting laws in Burbank and Glendale backwards and
forwards is critical to protect your legal rights, and your best chance to
beat the charges or walk away with a minimal penalty. Whether you've
already been arrested, or you have received a notice to appear in the Los
Angeles County Superior Court, I can help you work through your case
to get the best possible outcome.
This is important because a shoplifting or petty theft charge can have
serious legal consequences if not dealt with properly, and any criminal
conviction on your record can be damaging to your future.
Our office has successfully defended many individuals wrongfully
arrested for petty theft. Our Lawyer can help you to avoid serving time
in the Burbank Jail and assist in clearing your record.
Visit Matthew on Google and follow his respected and authoritative
articles on criminal defense, shoplifting, treatment programs and theft
related topics, all with an eye toward defense and rehabilitation.
Call today for a free consultation, Toll Free at 1-877-617-4485