What happens when you are charged with Shoplifting? 7 Answers as of September 23, 2011

A friend of mine was accused of stealing a scarf, a total of 24 dollars for the merchandise, what could she be charge for? She said they took her information and let her go and she was told that they would contact her tomorrow. Can they just do that? She said she didn't steal anything and her only crime was not to take the receipt. They didn't let her talk to the lady she already paid. And they said that they were going to check the cameras and she told them good because there is nothing there because she didn't steal anything.

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
She can be charged with petty theft a misdemeanor. If she hasnt' gotten a good lawyer by now she should.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/23/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
If she is charged it will be for commercial burglary. She will be given a court date for her arraignment. At that time she can plea not guilty or guilty. If a not guilty plea is entered a date will be set for a pre-trial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/3/2011
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
Your friend is looking at potential petty theft charges. Given the fact that the item in questions was valued at $24, she may only get charged for the infraction petty theft pursuant to Penal Code Section 490.1. The best case scenario would, of course, be no charges at all. Second to that would probably be the infraction. In any case, the prudent thing to do at this point is to sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to fully evaluate the circumstances and see if they can help your friend and prevent this matter from being filed in court. A theft conviction should be avoided at all costs as this can have a very negative impact on your friend's future. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/3/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
Yes they can still file a police report and the DA can still file charges. Typically if police were not called to the chances are low that charges will arise.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/2/2011
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
She is facing charge of petty theft, which is a crime of moral turpitude. You should tell her to absolutely NOT talk to anyone regardless of who contacts her. Remain silent is the best advice, and getting a lawyer is even better, because all questions should be directed to your lawyer, and your friend should remain absolutely silent to anyone else.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/2/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    The store can do whatever they like, including send you a bill for damages in the hundreds of dollars they demand you pay, and then file criminal charges whether you pay or not. Most stores today will prosecute, as a deterrent to other potential thieves. What can you do? Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in this. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively 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 an attorney about the case. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation. Your attorney may be able to negotiate an agreement with the store not to prosecute in return for some agreed payment. The store will NOT offer that to you without an attorney. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    It does not sound like she was charged if police didn't come and arrest her. Tell her to ignore all demand letters from store. If she does get charged she needs an attorney to help her.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2011
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