If you’ve been arrested for shoplifting in Louisville, you’ll need to act quickly to limit the potential consequences. Hiring the experienced Louisville shoplifting defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC is a great start. Our team of skilled lawyers has decades of experience and success representing clients against theft charges. If your future is on the line, we’ll do everything we can to protect it.
Contact our Louisville, KY law office to schedule a free consultation with our team. The prosecution won’t hesitate to begin building its case against you, so give us a call at (502) 371-7000 to get started on your defense today.
How a Suhre & Associates, LLC Defense Attorney Can Help You Fight Back Against Your Shoplifting Charge
Being arrested for stealing a pair of shoes from a department store or some makeup from your local pharmacy can be terrifying. However, as you are being apprehended, it is important to remember that there are no legal punishments for being charged with shoplifting. You cannot face any criminal penalties until the prosecution has successfully convicted you of the offense.
It is in your best interest to make the prosecuting attorney’s job as difficult as possible. If you can successfully stymy their attempts to land a conviction, your name will be cleared and you will face no criminal punishment.
To accomplish this goal, you will need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Fortunately, you can find one right here at the Suhre & Associates, LLC law firm in Louisville, Kentucky.
Our criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients battle hard against their shoplifting charges. When you hire us, our Louisville criminal defense attorneys will help you fight back against your charge by:
Protecting Your Constitutional Rights
When you are arrested and processed on a shoplifting charge, the prosecution must respect your constitutional rights. They must not search you without probable cause, they must not force you to incriminate yourself, and they must allow you to speak to an attorney.
If a rights violation occurs while your Suhre & Associates, LLC lawyer is by your side, we will put a stop to it immediately. If the violation happened before you had a chance to call us, we will raise it with the judge as quickly as possible. Depending on the nature of the violation, we may be able to have some evidence thrown out or have your case dismissed.
Guiding You Through the Complex Kentucky Legal System
The Kentucky criminal justice system is incredibly complicated. As you make your way through it, you will encounter a wide variety of difficult choices, dead-ends, and unnecessarily confusing procedures. To get to the other side without making any costly mistakes, you will need the help of a skilled lawyer.
Having worked on countless criminal cases over the years, our attorneys are intimately familiar with the Kentucky legal system. When you hire us, we will provide you with the advice and guidance you need to make it through your case as seamlessly as possible.
Representing You in Court
If your shoplifting case ends up going to trial, your fate will be determined by a judge and jury. Given the gravity of these proceedings, you will no doubt want to have an experienced attorney represent you throughout the process.
Our Louisville lawyers have been arguing in front of judges and juries in Kentucky for years. As a result, we know exactly how to craft and deliver arguments that will resonate with the listener. With us by your side, you can be confident that you will receive a fair trial.
If you would like to enlist the services of a Suhre & Associates, LLC defense lawyer, all you need to do is give us a call or contact us online. Once we hear from you, we will be happy to arrange a free consultation with a member of our legal team to discuss your case in more detail.
Defining Shoplifting in Kentucky
Kentucky prosecutes shoplifting under its “theft by unlawful taking or disposition” statute – Section 514.030 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. This law prohibits individuals from taking the property of another person with the intent to deprive the owner of its value.
In a store setting, performing any of the following acts is likely to result in a shoplifting charge:
- Running from the store without paying for a product
- Concealing products
- Transferring items from one container to another, or
- Altering price tags.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, our Louisville attorneys have years of experience defending clients against shoplifting charges. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, please reach out to us for assistance as soon as you can.
Can Stores Apprehend Suspected Shoplifters?
Section 433.236 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes states that a security officer or store employee may detain any person who they believe has unlawfully taken goods from the shop for a reasonable length of time. This law further explains that this detention must take place on store premises, except under certain circumstances.
A brief list of some of the legitimate reasons why a store representative may detain a suspected shoplifter off-site would include:
- To verify the identity of the suspected shoplifter
- To recover goods taken by the suspected shoplifter, or
- To inform a law enforcement officer of the detention and surrender the suspected shoplifter to that officer.
If you have additional questions about in-store detention or any other legal issue, please do not hesitate the Louisville law office of Suhre & Associates, LLC. Our experienced shoplifting defense lawyers are always available to provide you with the information you require.
Can the State Still Prosecute If the Stolen Goods Are Returned?
It is not unusual for individuals who have stolen goods from a store to return them at a later date. Unfortunately, however, the act of returning stolen products does not prevent law enforcement from pressing charges against the shoplifter. In the eyes of the law, the original theft still occurred.
Though it does not preclude prosecution, bringing stolen goods back to the store can paint a more sympathetic picture for the prosecuting attorney. When they see that the offender has returned the items that they stole, the prosecutor may decide to reduce the charges or offer a generous plea bargain.
If you have stolen goods from a store and would like legal advice as to what you should do next, please reach out to the Suhre & Associates, LLC team here in Louisville. We will be happy to guide you through the steps you must take to rectify the situation.
Criminal Penalties for Shoplifting in Kentucky
In Kentucky, the penalties doled out for theft crime is largely dependent on the value of the goods stolen:
Theft of Goods Valued at Less Than $500
Shoplifting items valued at less than $500 is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky. Individuals who are convicted of an offense of this nature may face up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. They may also end up with a permanent criminal record.
Theft of Goods Valued Between $500 and $10,000
Kentucky punishes the theft of goods valued between $500 and $10,000 as a Class D felony. Convicts may end up facing up to five years in prison and a permanent criminal record. They can also be fined up to double the gain from the theft or $10,000 – whichever is higher.
The theft of a firearm or items used to produce methamphetamine also falls into this charging bracket, even if the value of the goods was less than $500.
Theft of Goods Valued at More Than $10,000
Individuals who shoplift goods valued at more than $10,000 are likely to be charged with a Class C felony. Those who are convicted will face a fine of up to $10,000 or double the gain from the theft and a permanent criminal record. They may also be sentenced to as many as 10 years in state prison.
Pretrial Diversion for Shoplifting Offenses in Louisville
For certain individuals who have been accused of a first-time, low-level shoplifting offense, a pretrial diversion program may be available. This program is offered instead of the traditional trial and punishment system.
As part of the pretrial diversion program, the accused may be asked to:
- Complete community service
- Attend a rehabilitation course, and/or
- Make restitution to the victim.
Once the program has been successfully completed, all charges will be dropped against the accused. They will not receive a criminal record and will face no legal penalties.
If you are facing criminal charges for shoplifting, our Louisville criminal defense lawyers may be able to help you avoid the punishments listed above. To learn more about how we can assist you, all you need to do is give us a call and set up a free consultation.
Potential Defenses Against Kentucky Shoplifting Charges
The best way to prevent a shoplifting charge from becoming a shoplifting conviction is with an effective defense strategy. Some of the most commonly used and effective defenses for crimes of this nature include:
- Showing that the accused did not intend to steal the item and that their possession of the item was a simple error or mistake.
- Proving that the stolen item did not actually belong to the store, but was purchased by the accused before they ever entered the premises.
- Showing that the accused was coerced into stealing the item through violence or the threat of violence.
The best defense strategy for your shoplifting case will depend on the specific nature of the alleged crime. Reach out to us today to have our skilled lawyers put together an effective plan for you.
Let Our Louisville Shoplifting Defense Help You Today
When you need an experienced attorney at law in Jefferson County to fight on your behalf, you can count on the legal team at Suhre & Associates, LLC. Give us a call today to set up a free consultation and learn more about our legal services.