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.