What if you commit accidental shoplifting in Missouri?

Not too long ago I “overheard” a conversation on social media about an accidental shoplifting.

The story ran something like this: a busy momma with little ones had a cart overflowing with groceries and other items at a large retailer. She distractedly went through the checkout.

Unfortunately she started to leave this store with an unpaid item on the rack beneath her cart.  Security stopped her and checked her receipt. She profusely apologized and offered to pay for the item. Security still called the store manager who made her wait for the police.

She was treated like a criminal in front of her children for an honest mistake.

Her very irate husband published a letter to this retailer on social media.  I can’t fact check any of their story.  However, it’s a personal phobia of mine.  I often check receipts after shopping to make sure items were charged.

Accidental shoplifting is an easy crime to commit!

What about you?

Ever take a call on your cell while the cashier is ringing up your items? Or have your child asking you a whole list of questions during the process?  Rush hour (4-6pm) at the grocery store and long lines equal stress, too.

More than ever, we function on “overload” setting in daily life. Sometimes this results in an accidental felony!

Retailers undeniably face a genuine epidemic of shoplifting. According to a Time.com article, stores lost 48.9 billion dollars of inventory in 2016!

Of this amount, almost 37% of this loss was due to customer shoplifting.  Employee theft accounted for 30% of the lost inventory.  However, accidental shoplifting cannot be ruled out!

http://time.com/money/4829684/shoplifting-fraud-retail-survey/

If you shop at Walmart, be especially careful to avoid accidental shoplifting. They’ve adopted their own interesting twist in dealing with shoplifting in Joplin, Missouri.

If you accidentally walk out (never mind that the cashier should also be held partially responsible) with an unpaid package of water bottles under your cart, this could cost you $400 plus time.

Meet Walmart’s “Restorative Justice Program”!

According to The Joplin Globe, this program is designed to cut down on frequent calls to the police.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/wal-mart-takes-its-own-approach-to-shoplifting/article_454c256b-2268-5514-9473-2712d1cd26c8.html

However, it only applies to those with a clean record. Welcome, accidental shoplifter!

You have the choice of paying $400 and completing an online course.  Said course surely restores your brain cells from accidental shoplifting mode!

Fail to complete the course?  Fail to pay in full? Walmart reports you to the police!

Don’t care for this option?

Walmart calls the police and files a report.  You will need to show up in court.

In Missouri, shoplifting items under a $500 value is considered a Class A Misdemeanor —  punishable by possible jail time and fines.

Unfortunately, unless you fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed  in court, you will end up with a misdemeanor on your record.

True, you may qualify to get your record expunged.  Expungement for a misdemeanor now only requires a three year wait from the completion of your sentence, parole, or probation.  http://steimel-law.com/blog/get-your-legal-record-expunged/

Starting 2018 with any shoplifting charges? A misdemeanor or especially a felony charge (items over $500)  radically changes your life! You need experienced, aggressive legal help TODAY.

At the Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC, you can pursue your best options for your future!  Call 636-244-3737 to get your free initial consultation today.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

Is a slip-and-fall injury keeping you down?

Baby, it’s cold outside!   Businesses and property owners are pulling out the snow shovels and “ice melt” to protect others from slip-and-fall injuries.

Cracked, uneven sidewalks? Inadequate clearing of snow and ice? Combine these elements with THE elements.  You have a recipe for a personal injury disaster and a premises liability claim. 

A personal relation had her day in court and won a ten  year settlement that allowed her to retire.  Never mind that she was  wearing high heels to the office party when she tripped on the uneven pavement.

Even more telling, no one ever asked in court if she had a drink at the party.  What mattered was that she was a charming older lady who suffered a slip-and-fall injury at least partly due to an uneven sidewalk.

What mattered the most was that this lady suffered chronic back and neck pain for the rest of her life due to one slip-and-fall accident!

Slip-and-fall injuries are life-changing and costly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every five falls causes a serious injury. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

Some of these serious injuries include:

  • traumatic brain injury
  • fractured hips
  • broken bones
  • concussion
  • soft tissue injuries to muscles, joints, and ligaments

If you are a senior citizen and experience a slip-and-fall accident, the stakes are even higher.

Once again, the CDC points out that each year 300,000 older folk end up in the hospital for hip fractures.

Recovering from a hip fracture can be a long, tough road. You will probably need to do rehab and physical therapy. If you do not have a family member nearby who has plenty of time to help, you likely will have to live in a rehab facility.

Depending on your financial situation,  such a long-term recovery may end up costing you your independence — your ability to drive or even to live alone.

Imagine being the bread-winner for your family and breaking a bone due to a slip-and-fall injury!

If you are not injured on the job, you will need paid time off to manage the bills while you heal. Workers’ compensation will not help.

The average minimum healing time for a broken bone is 6 to 12 weeks!

If you have NO complications, this time frame is your “best-case” scenario. Unfortunately, you may need to file for unemployment and even temporary disability.

There are also legal restrictions to applying for unemployment.

If your slip- and-fall injury happened due to the negligence of a home or business — say an icy sidewalk or puddle of water — you may be eligible for financial compensation due to:

  • Loss of work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent or temporary disability
  • Hospital and medical bills
  • Rehab bills
  • Physical therapy bills    
  • If you feel you are suffering due to someone’s carelessness, you need the help of an experienced slip-and-fall injury lawyer. Life’s hard. Don’t suffer alone!

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html

Call 636-244-3737 today for a free, initial consultation for residents of Missouri and the Greater St. Louis area. The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a fair evaluation of your personal injury case.

 

 

Come clean in 2018 — get your legal record expunged

Celebrate an expunged criminal record in 2018

Do you have a few wild oats that always come back to haunt you when you fill out a new job application or apply to rent an apartment? Maybe a DWI or perhaps a MIP (minor in possession) charge? Due to  recent changes in Missouri law, you may now qualify to have your criminal charges expunged from your record.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve never heard of the term “expunge” before.  A quick peek at dictionary.com gives us a brief definition. “to strike or blot out: erase; obliterate”. 

What if this happened to your criminal record? Wouldn’t it feel good to start 2018 with a clean slate?

Imagine not having to tell a potential employer of your one and only DWI ! That may just make life a whole lot easier for you.

You could answer “no” to committing a felony or misdemeanors in many situations as long as you are a one-time offender. Your court and criminal records would be sealed. No snoops allowed.

( Applying for a job in law enforcement or banking, for example? You will still have to disclose your record to your potential employer.)

The good news is that the state of Missouri has recently greatly expanded the list of felonies and misdemeanors they will expunge.

The Columbia Tribune reports that about 1,900 different felonies or misdemeanors will now be eligible to be expunged.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/20171130/law-making-it-easier-to-expunge-criminal-records-in-missouri-takes-effect-jan-1

While not everyone with a misdemeanor on their record will qualify to have their criminal record expunged, many more folks than were allowed before can apply and start the process in 2018.

Only one felony in a lifetime or two misdemeanors or ordinance violations can be expunged. 

You may need to be patient, especially for alcohol-related offenses.

If you have a DWI on your record, you will have to keep your record squeaky clean for ten years before getting it expunged in court.

To get a misdemeanor expunged, the wait is three years from the date of completion of your sentence, parole, or probation.  This is FAR better than the former ten year wait to get a misdemeanor off of your record.

Other felonies will normally require a seven year wait for your clean slate.

What are some types of felonies or misdemeanors NOT eligible to be expunged?

  • Violent crimes
  • Repeat offenders (more than one DWI, for example)
  • Class A felonies
  • Sex offenses
  • Traffic misdemeanors while driving a commercial vehicle

For someone who made a foolish mistake and learned from it,  having your criminal record expunged is a wonderful second chance for a better life.

But you do have to take action. You have to fill out paperwork.  You have to show up in court. Most importantly, you do need to avoid any repeat offenses.

You don’t want to mess up this second chance.

You need the legal advice and step-by-step help of an experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney!

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free evaluation of your case.  http://steimel-law.com/criminal-defense.html

You don’t have to face your day in court alone.  Call 636-244-3737 today to get a great start to 2018!

 

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.