Denver Shoplifting & Retail Theft Lawyer
Skilled Defense from an Experienced Criminal Attorney
Everyone knows that shoplifting is wrong, but few people really think about it as a serious crime. After all, it’s something that has long been associated with teenage rebellion or impoverished individuals taking food they need for their families or clothing to survive the harsh Colorado winter. But in reality, there are all kinds of reasons that people steal from stores, and it is a crime that costs businesses billions of dollars every single year.
Because of this, the state takes these kinds of charges very seriously and will strive to make sure that you receive the harshest punishments possible. These include but are not limited to fines, restitution to the store owner, and even jail time. Those convicted of the most serious shoplifting charges can end up in prison for 12 years! And, of course, there is the fact that a conviction means you will have a permanent criminal record to deal with for the rest of your life. This is something that can make previously easy things become suddenly difficult, such as finding a place to live, getting a job to support yourself, or qualifying for a loan. The cards will start to stack against you, and you will need to hire a retail theft lawyer.
That’s why it’s vital that you contact an experienced Denver theft defense attorney like Kevin Cahill as soon as possible. With a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you can greatly increase your chances of getting a positive outcome. Mr. Cahill has handled all kinds of shoplifting cases, and he understands that there are always two sides to every story and extenuating circumstances that come into play.
Kevin Cahill Can Help You Understand Your Shoplifting Charges
In order to fight back against your retail theft charges and protect your rights, it’s important that you understand exactly what the charges mean.
There are several different levels of charges that are set down in Colorado law:
- Class 2 Misdemeanor. This is the charge that is given when the value of the items stolen is less than $500. People facing this charge may have to pay up to $1,000 in fines and spend anywhere from 3 months to an entire year in jail.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor. This is the charge that is given when the value of the items stolen is between $500 and $1,000. These individuals could spend between 6 and 18 months in jail and face fines that start at $500 and go up to $5,000.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor (2). This charge is given to anyone believed to have tampered with devices that detect theft or who even merely possesses tools that can be used to tamper with these kinds of devices. The punishments for both Class 1 Misdemeanor charges are the same – between 6 and 18 months in jail and fines from $500 to $5,000.
- Class 4 Felony. This is the charge that is given when the value of the items stolen is between $1,000 and $20,000. People facing this charge may have to pay between $2,000 to $500,000 in fines and could go to jail for anywhere between 2 and 6 years.
- Class 3 Felony. This is the charge that is given when the value of the items stolen is over $20,000. People facing this charge may have to pay between $3,000 and $750,000 in fines and could go to jail for anywhere between 4 and 12 years.
In addition to these criminal penalties, Colorado also demands that adults and emancipated minors pay restitution to the shop owners in the form of actual damages as well as a penalty that can be anywhere from $100 to $250 more.
There are also other circumstances that can change your charges as well. For example, if you are alleged to have used force or the threat of force to steal property, this automatically makes the charge a Class 5 felony – even if you just took a stick of gum. Penalties for this crime include fines of up to $100,000 and 1 to 3 years in jail. And if this isn’t your first theft conviction, that’s something else that will bump up your charges.
Get Someone Who Knows How to Fight Retail Theft Charges
In order to be convicted of shoplifting in Colorado, the prosecution has to prove a number of things. Some of these are obvious, but others are less so.
One way that our Denver theft crime lawyer delves into these kinds of cases is to ask his clients a series of questions:
- Did you know that the property in question was in your possession when you tried to leave the store?
- Did you come into the store with the intent to steal the property?
- Was the fact that you neglected to pay for the property an accident or mistake?
- What evidence is there to support the argument that it wasn’t an accident or mistake?
- Is this evidence direct or circumstantial?
Those last two questions are more for Mr. Cahill to answer than the client, but it can help if the client knows, for example, that there’s a videotape of them surreptitiously putting the item in question into their backpack.
The key in any shoplifting case is to cast doubt and show evidence supporting the fact that you did not intentionally take the item, that the police report was written in a biased way, or that your rights were violated in the way that you were apprehended and held. If the facts truly seem stacked against you, it is always possible to try to plea bargain to get the charges against you reduced.
The main thing to remember is that you shouldn’t take this lightly. Criminal charges are always serious, and a conviction for a crime is something that can’t help but change your life.
You owe it to yourself and the people you love to seek out the strongest possible defense, and Kevin Cahill vows to give it to you.
Learn exactly what a Denver criminal defense lawyer like Kevin Cahill can do for you by contacting him to schedule a free initial consultation where he will go over the facts of your case and talk to you about possible defense strategies. Don’t delay – call now at (720) 548-2990 and start protecting your future.