What could I do after being accused of shoplifting? 5 Answers as of September 30, 2015I was recently stopped at a major big chain store fingerprinted/took photos and gave a letter stating a criminal report will be sent to the PD and DA office for possible criminal complaint under shoplifting code 490.5. What will happen? What should I do? Can't afford an attorney.
LeadfootSpeedingTicket.com | Andrea Storey Rogers
You need to hire an attorney to represent you if you want to avoid having a shoplifting conviction on your permanent criminal record. Having a shoplifting conviction will prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, getting federal student loans (or other loans), etc. Call around and get prices from attorneys; it might be cheaper than you thought. Or try and locate a free legal aid organization in your area and see if they can help you free of charge. If your case is being prosecuted in municipal court, you will not be given a public defender to represent you for free, so your only options are hire a private attorney or try and find a free legal aid organization to help you.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
Shoplifting is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. If you can't afford an attorney, and based upon your limited income, you may qualify for a public defender. My advice... get an attorney, whether it is a public defender or a private attorney, as a criminal conviction can have adverse impact far beyond just the criminal penalties.
Answer Applies to: Washington