Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC for immediate legal assistance if you’ve been arrested for shoplifting in Dayton, Ohio. Even though this might seem like a minor crime, a conviction can have devastating consequences. Our Dayton shoplifting defense lawyers will fight to protect you. Give our law offices a call today to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more.
The Benefits of Hiring a Suhre & Associates, LLC Attorney to Help You with Your Shoplifting Case
Between the embarrassment of being marched through a crowded mall in handcuffs and the terror of sitting in a police holding cell awaiting an interview, getting arrested for shoplifting is not an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, however, being arrested is just the start of the difficult legal process that you will have to endure. Over the weeks and months to come, prosecutors will be working diligently to land a conviction and ensure that you are punished.
If you would like to avoid being convicted and penalized, you will need to make the prosecutor’s job as difficult as possible. You can take your first steps toward accomplishing this goal by hiring an experienced shoplifting attorney – like those at Suhre & Associates, LLC in Dayton, Ohio.
Theft defense has long been one of our primary practice areas. When you hire our Dayton criminal defense lawyers, we will use our expertise to help you achieve a favorable outcome to your case. As part of our commitment to providing you with top-quality legal services, we will:
Fight to Reduce or Waive Your Bail
When you are arrested on suspicion of shoplifting, you will almost certainly be taken into custody. You will be held in jail until you can appear at an arraignment hearing which will determine the bond you will need to post to be granted bail. If you want to make sure that your bond is reasonable, you will need the help of an experienced attorney.
Having worked on countless criminal cases over the years, our lawyers are well-versed in the art of bond reduction. In some cases, we are even able to have bail granted without a bond requirement. When we represent you, we will do everything in our power to get you out of custody as affordably as possible.
Negotiate with the Prosecuting Attorney
In the early stages of your case, you may be offered a plea bargain by the prosecuting attorney. In essence, they want you to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence. The exact terms of the deal are usually open for negotiation.
The criminal defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC have years of experience negotiating plea bargains with prosecutors in Miami County and Montgomery County. As a result, we understand how to convince them to reduce the penalties included in their offers. When you hire us, we will do everything in our power to land you a favorable deal.
Represent You in Court
If the prosecuting attorney refuses to offer a fair plea deal, your case will almost certainly wind up going to court. There, a judge or jury will determine whether or not you are guilty and how you should be punished. If you wish to ensure a fair hearing, you will need to have a skilled trial attorney by your side throughout the proceedings.
Since our firm was founded, our legal team has argued countless theft cases in courtrooms throughout the state of Ohio. If you enlist our services, we will use this experience to argue your case in a way that will resonate with the judge and jury.
When you need a Dayton criminal defense attorney to fight hard on your behalf, there is only one law firm you need to contact – Suhre & Associates, LLC. Our experienced attorneys are experts in all areas of Ohio criminal law and are ready to defend you against your shoplifting charge.
Defining Shoplifting Under Ohio Law
The state of Ohio does not have a “shoplifting” offense on its books. Instead, it prosecutes such crimes under its more general “theft” law – outlined in section 2913.02 of the Ohio Revised Code.
This law states that a theft charge may be handed down to anyone who knowingly takes control of another party’s property with the purpose of depriving them of its use in any of the following ways:
- Without the consent of the owner or an authorized representative
- Beyond the scope of the owner or representative’s consent
- By deception
- By threat, or
- By intimidation.
The defense attorneys here at Suhre & Associates, LLC in Dayton, Ohio have years of experience providing clients with legal advice on how best to deal with their theft charges. If you would like us to help you with your case, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Consequences of a Shoplifting Conviction in the State of Ohio
In the state of Ohio, the criminal punishments handed out for theft offenses are generally tied to the value of the goods stolen. In the vast majority of shoplifting cases, the value of the stolen items is less than $1,000. As such, they are punished as misdemeanors of the first degree, with penalties including up to 6 months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.
If the value of the good stolen is between $1,000 and $7,500, the offense can be bumped up to a felony of the fifth degree. When this happens, the offender may face up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Broadly speaking, the criminal penalties doled out for shoplifting convictions in Ohio can include:
- A permanent criminal record
- Community service, and/or
- House arrest.
Of course, criminal penalties are not the only negative consequences associated with shoplifting convictions. Individuals with a criminal conviction on their record may also encounter the following problems:
- Difficulty renting an apartment
- Difficulty finding a job
- Difficulty being approved for visas, and/or
- Difficulty obtaining professional licenses.
That’s why it’s important to seek legal assistance if you’re facing any criminal charges in Dayton.
Pre-Trial Diversion Programs
In certain situations, arrestees who wish to avoid the negative consequences of a shoplifting conviction may be able to enter into a pre-trial diversion program. Such programs generally include:
- Community service
If the accused successfully completes every stage of the program, their criminal charges will be dropped. They will not have a criminal record and will not face any fines or jail time.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC in Dayton, OH, we understand how terrifying it can be to face the consequences of a shoplifting conviction. That is exactly why we fight so hard to help our clients avoid them. If you would like to have us on your side during your case, please reach out to us at your earliest convenience.
Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges in Ohio
When you are charged with a theft crime in Ohio, it can be easy to feel like it is only a matter of time before you are convicted and punished. However, this is not necessarily the case. With an effective defense strategy, you’ll be in a better position to beat your criminal charge in court or have it dismissed during the pre-trial stage.
A brief list of some of the best defenses to Ohio shoplifting charges would include:
Lack of Intent
To successfully convict you of a theft offense, the prosecution must show that you intended to steal the product in question. If you can show that the item ended up on your person by mistake, your case should be dropped relatively quickly.
The best way to prove that you did not purposely shoplift is with surveillance camera footage. However, if video footage is not available, sworn testimony from an eye witness may also suffice.
Section 2913.02 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that you must take an item “without the consent of the owner” to be charged with and found guilty of a theft offense. If you took the item with the permission of the owner, no crime was committed.
Presenting the court with a permission-granting email or text message is, unquestionably, the best way to show that you did not violate the law when you took the item in question. If no such written record is available, a recorded phone call or witness statement may also do the trick. Once you successfully prove that you had consent, your lawyer can move to have your case dismissed.
If you can show the court that you were forced to steal the item in question through the use of violence or the threat of violence, you will most likely have your charge dropped. Being coerced into shoplifting is rarely considered a crime.
Video recordings, threatening text messages, and witness testimony can all be used as part of your efforts to prove that you were coerced.
A Suhre & Associates, LLC criminal defense lawyer can let you know which strategy is most likely to succeed in your case. To arrange an initial consultation, just give us a call or send us a message online.
Dayton Shoplifting Defense Lawyers You Can Count On
The lawyers here at Suhre & Associates, LLC have been helping the people of Miami County and Montgomery County with everything from DUI defense to shoplifting defense for years. During that time, we have achieved countless favorable outcomes for our valued clients. If you would like us to fight on your behalf, all you need to do is give us a call and set up a free consultation with a member of our team.