While Massachusetts may be home to many legendary sports greats, it is also home to many criminal courts, where trained prosecutors are prepared to put you behind bars. If you have been caught shoplifting, calling an experienced Shoplifting Attorney
can be the difference between sitting behind home plate at a Red Sox game or sitting behind bars for a year, or more.
How to Choose the Right Shoplifting Attorney
In choosing the right Shoplifting Attorney, there are a number of questions you need answered. Does your attorney specialize in shoplifting defense or dabble in all areas of the law? Does the attorney have a winning track record? Does your Shoplifting Attorney consider all your options and file all the appropriate motions in a timely fashion? Is your Shoplifting Attorney willing to appear in court time and again until you get the best disposition possible?
Should You Plead Guilty
So, you’ve been caught shoplifting? Are you innocent? Are you guilty? You are already asking the wrong questions. It is not your responsibility to prove your innocence. It is the prosecutor’s job to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You do not even have to testify or present any witnesses. You are always presumed innocent.
It is almost never beneficial to plead guilty because there are always other options to protect your rights, your record, and your reputation. For instance, your Shoplifting Attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence if your rights were violated during your arrest, or a motion to dismiss if the police have not established probable cause that a crime has been committed. Also, as your case progresses, your Shoplifting Attorney may find additional holes in the Commonwealth’s case against you. After all, it is the prosecutor’s job to prove each and every element of the crime with which you have been charged beyond a reasonable doubt. If not, the jury must find you not guilty.
Free Initial Consultation
Ask your experienced Shoplifting Attorney if he/she will review your case for free during an initial consultation. Most attorneys will be happy to give an initial free consultation. When you attend this meeting, you should bring all material that is important to your case, including the police report, complaint, your probation record, and any other documentation you have available.
Ask your Shoplifting Attorney to give you a clear and honest opinion of what your legal options are, and how he/she can help you to build the best defense possible for your case. Tell your Shoplifting Attorney of your concerns because he/she understands only too well what a stressful and overwhelming situation facing a criminal charge can be. You need to feel confident that your Shoplifting Attorney will be able to navigate you through the legal process and get the best outcome possible.
The Penalties for Shoplifting
The penalties for shoplifting can be harsh. For shoplifting goods valued at less than $100, the maximum penalty for a 1st offense is $250; for a 2nd offense, $500; for a 3rd offense, 2 years in a county house of correction (HOC) and/or a fine of $500. For shoplifting goods valued at $100 or more, the maximum penalty is 2 ½ years in a county house of correction (HOC) and/or a fine of $1,000.