Criminal charges often cause tremendous stress for people, and it helps to speak with someone about your case so that you know what to expect. With an experienced guide, these matters are not nearly as scary as you might initially think. You can call P. Adam Militello, Esq., 7 days a week, to discuss your charges. (The phone consultation is free.) We assist people in Monroe, Ontario, Livingston, Wayne, and Genesee Counties every week, and we can help you.
There are three components to a petit larceny case, and we will handle all aspects of the matter for you:
1) We will help you with the criminal charge of Petit Larceny (a.k.a. shoplifting, or theft).
The most immediate issue you face is a criminal charge. Whether you were stopped in Marketplace Mall, Eastview Mall, Kohl's, or Wegmans, once the police are called, you will have to face a misdemeanor petit larceny charge in a local court. It's true that this is a crime punishable by a hefty fine and jail time, but that is why you hire a lawyer- to avoid those most serious consequences. We have handled many, many petit larceny cases in the courts around Rochester, and although past results do not indicate future outcomes, I am very proud of the results we have achieved for our clients. Whether we are able to negotiate a dismissal of your claim, reduce it to a non-criminal charge, or if we have to take it to trial, we are prepared to help you beat these charges. Our number is (585) 485-0025, and we are available 24/7 for people who have been recently arrested and need to speak with an attorney. (Yes, it's okay to call on the weekend if you have just been arrested.)
2) We'll also help you with the civil claim alleging theft.
While you are being detained by private security at the store, you may be told to sign an admission of guilt, or an agreement to stay out of the store, or an agreement to pay a fine. Don't sign anything without talking to your lawyer. Even if you do sign some documents, don't pay anybody any money until you have talked to your own lawyer.
If store security doesn't ask you to pay them money while you are being held in a room somewhere, you may later received a letter from the store, asking you to pay a fine of between $75 and $500, and possibly asking for reimbursement of up to $1,500 for the allegedly stolen property. Don't pay them. Call your own attorney. As part of the flat fee that we charge to represent people in theft cases, we also contact the store's lawyer. We tell that lawyer we represent you, and we will represent you in a civil case as well. Again, although past results do not indicate future outcomes, not one of my clients has yet been forced to pay a civil penalty after contacting us. We've saved our clients tens of thousands of dollars and protected their credit ratings by taking this precaution.
3) We'll help clear your record.
When a petit larceny case is "over," it isn't really "over." A criminal record will stay with you for your entire life because there is no way to expunge a crime from your New York State rap sheet. Even in cases where the charges are dismissed, if your attorney doesn't follow up with the court and ask for a confirmation that the arrest was removed from your record, and for a confirmation your fingerprints were destroyed, you could find that the arrest turns up years later in a background check. This can be a problem for young people who are applying to competitive schools, or for anybody with a sensitive job. We regularly represent teachers, medical professionals, and a variety of licensed professionals in cases of petit larceny. We are here to make sure that there are no serious, lasting consequences from a lapse in judgment. Make sure you hire a lawyer who won't forget about your case once your court appearances are over.
More Information on shoplifting / petit larceny
To read some of the articles I have written on theft crimes please take a look below: