September 30, 2015

Got Caught Shoplifting? Here’s what comes next.

Shoplifting Crime

Young man committing a shoplifting crime
*actor portrayal

What Are Shoplifting Charges and Consequences?

Get caught shoplifting in Henderson, and you’ll face not one but at least two charges: larceny and burglary. In plain English, you’ll receive one for stealing merchandise and one for entering the building with intent to steal merchandise. A burglary lawyer can help you understand the Nevada laws typically used in shoplifting cases.

If you or someone you know is facing shoplifting charges, call Marchiano Law at 702-565-0473 for a free case evaluation.

NRS 205.060 – Burglary

  • Any person who enters any property with the intent to commit grand or petit larceny is guilty of burglary, a felony.
  • Burglary is a Category B felony.
  • A burglary conviction carries a state prison sentence of 1 to 10 years.
  • A burglary conviction may also carry fines up to $10,000.
  • A prior conviction for burglary or a similar crime will make you ineligible for probation or a sentence suspension.
  • If you had a firearm or deadly weapon in your possession, state prison time increases to 2 to 15 years.

NRS 205.240 – Petit Larceny

  • Any person who intentionally steals, takes and carries away, leads away, entices away or drives away personal goods or property owned by another person with a value of less than $650 is guilty of petit larceny – a misdemeanor.
  • A petit larceny conviction carries a minimum punishment of restitution, with possible prison time or fines.

NRS 205-220 – Grand Larceny

  • Any person who intentionally steals, takes and carries away, leads away, entices away or drives away personal goods or property owned by another person with a value of $650 or more is guilty of grand larceny – a felony.
  • It’s considered a category C felony if the value of the property is between $650 and $3,500.
  • It’s considered a category B felony if the value of the property is $3,500 or more.
  • A category C felony conviction carries a punishment of 1 to 5 years in the state prison.
  • A category B felony conviction carries a punishment of 1 to 10 years.
  • Both category B and C felony convictions each entail restitution, forfeiture of any proceeds gained from the larceny and fines up to $10,000.

Shoplifting, Immigration Status and Deportation – What You Need To Know

The criminal law system views crimes involving theft and the intent to steal as crimes of moral turpitude. Essentially, they fall under the definition of “conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals.” Criminal convictions that fall within the realm of moral turpitude can be serious issues for immigrants or individuals with citizenship issues.

The U.S. Department of Justice specifies that an alien “convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years after the date of entry, and sentenced to confinement or confined therefore for one year or longer” may face deportment. Note that despite criticism that the term crime of moral turpitude is vague, the criminal justice system continues to invoke it as a legitimate cause for deportation, especially for individuals with multiple convictions.

You Need a Lawyer When You Get Caught Shoplifting.

Shoplifting charges can be surprisingly complex. Legal representation can help you navigate any number of pitfalls that have long-term consequences. An experienced lawyer may be able to convince a court to downgrade or dismiss charges against you:

  • If it’s your first petit larceny offense, a skilled lawyer may be able to have the burglary charge dismissed – remember, that burglary charge is a category B felony.
  • Sealing your records or getting them expunged after set periods of time, removing them from public view. A defense attorney can help you petition to have a misdemeanor conviction sealed after just 2 years. However, to have a felony C conviction sealed, you’ll have to wait 12 years. If you have a felony B conviction – like burglary – you’ll have to wait 15 years before the records can be sealed. That can be a long time.

The Burden of Intent

Much of the weight in a shoplifting prosecution rests on the court’s ability to prove intent to steal. While you may not have meant to do it, the sheer prevalence of retail theft has made store managers and owners more inclined to pursue prosecution, especially when they catch older teenagers or adults.

If you don’t think it can happen to you, consider that in the NASP survey, 89 percent of “kids” under age 18 knew someone who regularly shoplifted, and 66 percent admitted to “hanging out with them.” While a mere 3 percent of adults who shoplift do so with reselling in mind, more than half of all shoplifting adults are addicted to the crime, stealing on average six times or more each month.

As shoplifting continues to increase in a tough economy, so does willingness to prosecute and the perceived need for punishment. John Marchiano is a skilled, trusted, experienced criminal lawyer who understands the subtle motivations behind shoplifting. He may be able to save your reputation – and citizenship – with a simple promise of restitution. Don’t let the shame of shoplifting take over your life.  Submit your case details for find out your chance to beat charges.