Passion, Knowledge & Experience
Innocent and Facing Charges That Would Have Ruined My Life
If you are charged with a theft crime, an experienced Rochester attorney can help you. At the lowest level, you may face a charge of Petit Larceny. At the most serious level, you could be charged with Identity Theft or Grand Larceny.
- Grand Larceny in the First Degree
- Grand Larceny in the Second Degree
- Grand Larceny in the Third Degree
- Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree
- Petit Larceny
- Identity Theft
- Credit Card Fraud
Petit larceny, a.k.a "shoplifting," is a misdemeanor-level crime, meaning that it is punishable by up to a year in jail or three years of probation supervision. If you are brought before a judge on a misdemeanor charge such as petit larceny, that judge will ask you if you have a lawyer, and the judge will also tell you that if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to you. You will be given an opportunity to apply for public defender services, but if you don't qualify because of the amount of money you make, the judge is likely going to insist that you hire an attorney. Why?
You need an attorney when you are charged with a crime because you can't defend yourself. Even lawyers who have been practicing criminal law for years will hire an attorney if they are charged with a crime. Why? Because they can't defend themselves. Knowing the law inside and out isn't good enough... knowing the nuances of how a particular judge operates isn't good enough. You can't defend yourself because you are too close to the case. You can't have a frank discussion about the merits of the case with the prosecutor because he is desperately trying to avoid giving you legal advice. You can't have a frank discussion about the merits of the case with a judge because she is desperately trying to preserve your right to remain silent. You... can't... defend... yourself. It's nothing personal. Sometimes really, really smart people who didn't go to law school try to defend themselves in court. They sometimes end up looking brilliant for about 30 seconds before they walk themselves right into a landmine of trouble.
When it comes to relatively low-level crimes like petit larceny, an experienced criminal defense attorney can typically get a first-time offender a pretty good deal that involves some community service and ultimately, a dismissal and sealed record. Make sure your attorney does the follow-up work to get your record sealed, and ask if your retainer agreement covers that work. It's important, especially if you ever want or need to work in a retail store again.
In order to achieve the best possible outcome, it is vital that you have an experienced Rochester attorney who can create a strong defense on your behalf. Our team has the experience and knowledge you need to fight your case. If you have been charged with a theft crime, get started today and call us for a free telephone consultation and case evaluation at (585) 485-0025.