What can happen if I am caught stealing from an employer? 44 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I was caught taking a pair of shoes from my employer. Just wondering what am I looking at?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I would recommend retaining an attorney for this matter. This response does not contain specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court may appoint you one at the public's expense. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Only if a person is ultimately convicted or if they plead guilty will they be sentenced. In Michigan, the maximum penalties for a retail fraud, third, usually charged in alleged shop-lifting cases for merchandise with a value under $200.00, is 93 days in jail, probation up to two years,a fine of not more than $500.00 or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine. MCL 750.356d. Please note, however, that these are the maximum possible penalties. Judges in Michigan misdemeanor cases have a wide latitude with their sentences up to the maximum pursuant to the applicable statute. Policies and practices vary widely depending on the judge and county. An arraigning judge usually advises a defendant of their maximum possible penalties pursuant to the law.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/2/2011
Law Office of Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq.
Law Office of Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. | Elizabeth B. Carpenter
It depends upon the value of the shoes. I am going to assume that the shoes are valued at less than $100.00. If your employer has called the police and you have been cited, you could be convicted of a municipal offense. Typically, you will be fined, ordered to pay restitution if applicable and perhaps placed on probation for no more than 6 months. If the value of the shoes is greater, you could be facing a criminal misdemeanor or even felony if the value is greater than $500.00.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 10/12/2011
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
If the shoes were worth less than $1,000.00 you can be charged with petit larceny, a class 'A' misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000.00 and/or one year in jail. Depending on many factors, you probably won't get anything like the maximum, but I would consult a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/10/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
You could be looking at an embezzlement-type charge. This could be a felony which would have some impact on your future employability and other implications. I would suggest that you retain an attorney should you be charged. Prior to being charged, you should not make any admissions either to the employer or to the police. Any of these things will come back to hurt you in the event that you are charged with a crime.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/10/2011
Greco Law Office
Greco Law Office | Dominic Greco
You could be charged with several crimes from embezzlement to larceny from a building.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/10/2011
    Iyer Law Office
    Iyer Law Office | V. Iyer
    It all depends on the value of the item stolen or the loss incurred by the employer. It is the "retail value" of the item which determines the class and severity of the crime. Theft is a very serious charge to be convicted of. Contact a criminal defense attorney to help you. See my previous answers to some of the possible effects of a theft conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/8/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You could be charged with a petty theft. This is usually a misdemeanor charge.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Retain a good criminal attorney to negotiate an ACD dismissal. If it is your first offense it would be easy to get dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Levine & McHenry LLC
    Levine & McHenry LLC | Matthew McHenry
    Any number of outcomes are possible, depending on your employer and the county in which this occurred. Your employer may be willing to accept something called a civil compromise, whereby you provide your employer with some level of satisfaction and the case is dismissed. A civil compromise will depend on your employer's view of the crime, your own background, and whether a judge agrees that this it is a good resolution. You may also be eligible for some sort of deferred sentencing program, whereby you enter a guilty plea and do community service in return for a dismissal. Again, this will depend on the county you are in and your criminal history, if you have one. There are other options as well. You should hire an attorney to explore the various avenues available to you to resolve the situation.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    You may be charged with petit larceny, which is a Class "A" Misdemeanor, which is subject to punishment by up to 1 year in jail, three years onProbation or $1000 fine or any combination.Hire anexperienced attorney to represent you as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    It depends on whether the employer fires you and whether he wants to file criminal charges. If criminal charges are filed- hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    You are likely looking at a misdemeanor charge if the cost of the shoes is under $400. However, the charge of embezzlement may be a possibility. It is very important that you hire a private criminal defense attorney immediately.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Most likely it will be a theft charge and it would be considered a disorderly persons offense since the value of the shoes was under $200.00. A disorderly persons offense is punishable with a fine from $100 to $1000 and up to 6-months in county jail.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You probably have been fired or soon will be. You can be charged with theft of property 3d (misdemeanor) depending on the value of the shoes, and if convicted you will have a permanet record of a conviction and could be facing possible jail time and/or fines.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    You could be charged with larceny from a building which is a felony. There are other less offenses that could be charged. It will depend on whether your employer turns the matter over to the police of just fires you and does not report it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    1 year, maybe more, maybe less depending on the amount stolen and how you stole it. It could be a felony or misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Misdemeanor theft by taking. Usually a probation case for the first offense, but maximum punishment for it in Georgia is 12 months in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine. Its a lot cheaper to buy the shoes.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A theft offense can be very serious. A conviction would leave an indelible mark on your record and it can impact future employment and other opportunities. As a result, an aggressive defense is necessary. As a misdemeanor offense, a theft under $500 is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. Often. if you have a clean record and/or viable defenses, you may be able to avoid a conviction with a Stay of Prosecution which, upon completion of certain conditions, may result in a dismissal of the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    It is up to the employer whether they report it to the police or not. If they don't report, nothing else happens. If they do, you could be arrested or just receive a letter. Even if you are arrested, the case has to then be forwarded to the DA and a lawyer there will decide whether to issue the case. If it is issued, you could be convicted of petty theft if the value of the property was under $400. It's a minor charge, probably just carrying a fine. You could get the charge expunged once you successfully completed probation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    You can be charged with a variety of theft charges based on the value of the shoes from a misdemeanor to a felony. Please seek representation.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Hopefully the employer won't contact that police. But they may, so make sure you remain silent and do not talk to anyone or be interviewed and do not sign any confession or statement. Hire a lawyer, who will be your ear and mouth from this point forward.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    If the value of the shoes was under $50, then it is a Class C. $50 to $500 is a Class B. Generally prosecutors really frown on employee thefts and often won't work on those cases to make it where the case can be dismissed and later expunged. (Pretrial diversion.) If they will not, the best you can hope for is deferred adjudication probation which, if successfully completed, can later be sealed. You need to hire a lawyer, though.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Stealing from your employer is considered by some prosecutors as an "aggravating circumstance" that warrants tougher treatment than a garden variety Petit Larceny. You may be offered a Disorderly Conduct or an Attempted Petit Larceny.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    That depends, did the shoes belong to your boss or did they belong to the company? The difference would be in the charges and you could potentially be facing felony charges depending on the facts of the case. Not enough are known to give an accurate assessment. If charged, speak with an attorney before you agree to anything. Make sure you plead Not Guilty at your first court appearance. There may even be a way to keep the matter off of your record.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    First you will probably lose your job and have no unemployment pay. You will be prosecuted and be labeled a thief. If it is the first time a lawyer may be able to get it so you have no conviction. This will help if you want to be hired in the future. Employers do not like to hire thieves.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Probably, you will lose your job, and possibly will be arrested for the theft, but that is up to your employer. Actually, if you have not been arrested yet, the chances are the employer will not be interested in pressing charges, however, in the event you are arrested, hire a defense attorney to defend you. Not knowing your criminal history, I cannot tell you what the outcome in court would be.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC | Ronald Aronds
    What you are looking at depends upon the value of the shoes. Anyway, if you are charged with theft or shoplifting you are looking at high fines, having a criminal record, and possibly jail time and community service. I recommend you hire a laywyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    If the employer decides to pursue the matter, most likely a misdemeanor theft charge assuming the shoes' value was under $250.00.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Petty theft is the taking of anything valued at under $950. Petty theft is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a thousand dollar fine. That's not what you would get necessarily, just the maximum. The facts, your prior record (if any) and what your attorney can work out for you will determine what happens.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    For the facts you stated, you are looking at a petty theft. Petty theft is punishable by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or both.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Martin Law Offices, PLLC
    Martin Law Offices, PLLC | Matthew T. Martin
    It likely depends on the value of the shoes. Either way seek counsel before making any statements or admissions.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    You can be fired, charged with a crime, prosecuted, sentenced if found guilty to probation, jail or prison depending on the amount stolen.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    You're probably looking at misdemeanor theft charges.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    It sounds like a simple Petit Larceny defined in Penal Law Section 155.25. It is a class A misdemeanor punishable up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine. Depending on the value of the property and whether you have a criminal record, an experienced criminal defense attorney can usually help you avoid going to jail or having a criminal record.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Retail fraud or bezzlement. Get an attorney on board right away and make no admissions!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Anderson Walsh PLLC
    Anderson Walsh PLLC | STACI LYNN ANDERSON
    You could be charged with a variety of crimes. Most likely is misdemeanor petit theft. If you make any statements that you entered the building with the intent to take the shoes, you could also be charged with felony burglary. Dont make any statements until you have talked to a competent criminal defense attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Depending on your record and the value of the shoes, a misdemeanor charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey | Stephen P. Dempsey
    Possibly disorderly persons theft or 4th degree theft charge.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    It depends upon the value of the item stolen. If more than $250.00, it could be a felony. Your employer also has every right to fire you. I suggest that you consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Baner and Baner
    Baner and Baner | Jonathan Baner
    As someone that recently had their shoes stolen I think you're looking at fifty years of hard labor. You'll want to return the shoes as soon as possible and hope no police involvement is requested is probably a good idea. Impossible to give you any advice at all, and I am expressly NOT DOING SO. Theft of about $150 is a misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Usually theft. And that is a serious crime of moral turpitude. You need to hire an attorney so that you don't get convicted.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
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