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.

Caught shoplifting in Missouri? { 3 reasons you need a criminal defense attorney’s help}

You’re not sure what possessed you at that moment!

In the blink of an eye, you tried on those new workboots you thought you needed at your favorite department store.  You even looked around and thought no one saw you.  Tucking your old shoes under the rack, you just decided to leave with the new boots on your feet.

What you didn’t notice was the store’s security surveillance cameras.  Before you could even get to the front of the store, there was a hand on your elbow and a voice in your ear. “Sir, you need to come with me.”

Your heart sank when turned around and saw store’s assistant manager standing at your side. Fortunately you decided  it was better to go quietly than to make a big fuss.

At least your petty crime  wasn’t plastered on social media or front page news. No one else saw you slink back to the store’s office  to wait for the police to arrive.

You’d never dealt with the law before.  However, it wasn’t the officer-on-call’s first trip to that store on that day.   Both the store’s manager and the officer who arrived were tired of having to deal with petty theft.  So they decided enough was enough!

Even though you tried to explain your situation — out of work for three months, and really needing these workboots for the new job — neither party was in the mood to deal.  They were ready to throw those boots straight at your dumb head!

While the story above is purely fiction, you may find yourself in these same “boots”.  Even if you’re a first-time shoplifting offender, you’re going to need a good criminal defense attorney. 

Here are 3 reasons you should really listen up:

1.) In the state of Missouri,  if you receive the maximum penalty for petty theft/shoplifting (under $500), you could lose a year of your life to jail-time. Add a $1000 fine to that pile of misery!

Ever wondered what goes on inside the four walls of a prison?  If you’re at all like me, you like the comforts of your own home, your own bed, and most especially your own choice of food.  I’m preeetty sure I’d get sick of prison food in no time flat.

What’s a year of your life worth to you? Your job? Your annual income? Your reputation? Gone!  No workboots on earth are worth that price. Without a job, how are you going to pay off that fine?

2.) In addition, shops can sue for restitution and damages.

You could receive a “civil demand letter”. In addition to the fines imposed by the court, you would have to pay an additional amount to the store you stole from, above and beyond the price of the item you stole.

3.) If you are a first-time offender, your criminal defense lawyer can work aggressively to get a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS).

What SIS means for you is no permanent criminal record for shoplifting. If theft is on your record, it can hinder you from getting a job, renting an apartment, or even getting federal loans.   However, you do have to stay “squeaky clean” and complete your probation period.

Don’t face petty theft charges in court alone!

Not only could you end up with a criminal record and a fine, you could lose months of your life in jail.

If you or a loved one is facing shoplifting or petty theft charges , you  need a meticulous, agressive criminal defense attorney defending you in court. 

Call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC today for a free initial consultation. (636)244-3737

http://steimel-law.com/criminal-defense.html

 

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.