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 and 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 crime, meaning that it is punishable by up to a year in jail. 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 they are 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 they are 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 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.
The smartest thing you can do when faced with a criminal charge is to find the best criminal defense lawyer you can, and hire that person. This is not a time to try and save money, or to try and stand up to the system and represent yourself. These are choices that can lead to very poor outcomes, and that is what you need to focus on- achieving the best outcome possible. The truth is that the cost of a lawyer can easily save you the money you would otherwise pay in fines, surcharges, and civil awards.
In order to achieve this 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 Contact us anytime at (585) 485-0025 for a free telephone consultation and case evaluation.