According to annual reports, Murrieta ranked far below the national average in every category used to calculate criminal statistics. Thus, it is no surprise that in 2012, Murrieta was ranked as having the seventh lowest crime rate for cities in the United States with a population size of 100,000 to 499,000.
However, larceny crimes are one of the biggest concerns in Murrieta because these crimes totaled nearly 70 percent of all property crimes committed in 2013 to date. As of August 2013, 765 larceny related offenses were committed per Murrieta Police Department reports.
Included in larceny offenses is the crime of shoplifting. Shoplifting is defined as the unlawful taking of another person’s property without that person’s permission. The most common scenarios where shoplifting occurs are in retail stores, drug stores and liquor stores.
Shoplifting charges can be very scary to confront and you should know that you do not have to face them alone. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich possess the knowledge and skill to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
The Charges for Shoplifting Cannot Be that Severe, Right?
If this is your initial thought after being caught for shoplifting, then I am sorry to inform you that you are sadly mistaken. Depending on the value of goods that you are accused of shoplifting, you could be facing up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000 if you are convicted.
Shoplifting offenses are usually prosecuted as misdemeanors, but can be prosecuted as felonies. Shoplifting is considered petty theft if it involves stolen goods with a value of no more than $950. If the prosecutor can prove that you took an item (or items) with a value of more than $950, you can be prosecuted for grand theft. Grand theft can be punished by up to three years in custody for a felony offense, or one year in county jail for misdemeanor grand theft. A conviction for grand theft can also be punished by a fine of up to $5,000.
Do I Need an Attorney if I am Being Charged With Shoplifting in Murrieta?
Hiring an attorney to represent you could make a big difference in the outcome of your case. An attorney can explain to you whether the item you stole or the manner in which you stole the item is considered petty theft. It is highly recommended that you hire an attorney because attorneys can navigate the legal system much more efficiently and effectively than if you tried to defend yourself.
For example, you may not have known that if the items you are accused of stealing were valued at under $50 and you had no prior convictions, the District Attorney may consider dropping the charge to an infraction. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney to negotiate with the District Attorney could be the difference between you serving time in jail and paying a fine or having your case dismissed.
There are many valid defenses to a charge of petty theft. When you retain Wallin & Klarich, your criminal defense attorney will be able to present your defense to the court in the most persuasive manner.
The Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Can Help
Our criminal defense attorneys have been able to successfully defend shoplifting cases for over 30 years. At Wallin & Klarich, we have the skill necessary to achieve the best outcome in your case. You do not have to face this alone.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839. We will get through this together.