If I am being accused for shoplifting, is there something I can do in California? 14 Answers as of January 12, 2011

A customer and employee accused me of shoplifting at an electronics store. The customer who had accused me was the friend of the store owner. They say I took over 100 dollars worth of equipment, but this was all stuff I had with me before entering the store. I am mad because I have receipts for all of this stuff to prove it. What can I do about this now, since police came to file a report?

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Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
Wait to see if the D.A. files on you. Hire an attorney at that time. Give all your evidence to your attorney. See if he can get it dismiss at pre-trial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/12/2011
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Your best bet is to hire a good attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/11/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Defend against the charges. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone except your attorney about your case. This would be charged as a misdemeanor, which means you would face up to a year in jail. If charged, effective plea-bargaining, using whatever defenses and sympathies you may have, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it, depending upon all the facts and evidence. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict you. If done quickly, your attorney may be able to prove your defenses to the store and avoid charges being filed, or may be able to negotiate a civil compromise that avoid charges being filed. If serious about hiring counsel, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have. If you can't afford private counsel, apply for the Public Defender.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/11/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
If the police are now involved and they send their report to the District Attorney, you may be charged with a crime. If so you will need an attorney and he or she will need to investigate your claims of innocence. If the store and you agree to some type of civil settlement you should still hire an attorney who can perhaps persuade the District Attorney not to file charges.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/11/2011
Desert Defenders
Desert Defenders | John Jimenez
You should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to advise and protect you during the pre-filing of a criminal complaint stage, and thereafter if charges are filed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You need to hire an attorney to represent you. This is serious and should be fought.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2011
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
    You need to keep all of the receipts for the alleged stolen equipment. If you hear from the District Attorney that the police/DA has filed a charge you can submit proof of payment for the equipment with the assistance of an attorney or by representing yourself. After you submit proof of payment the DA should dismiss the case.

    If you have any further questions feel free to contact our office at any time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need to hire an attorney. Pleading guilty to theft is terrible, as it is a crime of moral turpitude. If you have all the receipts there is no reason to plead guilty. Unfortunately, without an attorney speaking on your behalf, the chance of the prosecutor/Judge just dismissing everything is minimal.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Hire a criminal defense attorney to assist you. This is not the type of case that you want to handle on your own.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    You can fight the charge. I recommend consulting with an attorney to discuss the matter in further detail. I have had success getting petty theft charges dismissed. I can be reached if you would like a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    If the cops charge you, you can use your receipts as a defense. If there are no criminal charges filed you can sue the store owner and the customer using your receipts as evidence. I hope you didn't buy this stuff at the same store as quite often shoplifters will go in early, buy some stuff and get receipts and then comeback later and try to boost the same stuff. If caught they show their receipts. Trouble is they are usually time stamped. I hope that's not your situation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2011
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