Shoplifting Charge in Missouri
In Missouri, shoplifting is where you get caught taking items worth less than $500 and punishment can be up to a year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Sometimes the charge is deemed to be stealing, theft or “petty theft”.
Since shoplifting is a crime involving dishonesty, it is crucial that anyone charged with shoplifting in Missouri hire a lawyer. A person who pleads guilty to shoplifting will have that on his record and this could dim his future employment prospects. Employers are especially wary of hiring anyone who has been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty.
Hiring an attorney will ensure that your case is adequately reviewed to see if it can be dismissed, and, if not, reduced to a lesser charge.
In most shoplifting cases in Missouri, the defendant is charged in municipal court. Outcomes after hiring an attorney usually include paying a fine and court costs, possibly completing a class regarding theft, often community service and in some cases, completion of one or two years of probation.
Fines and court costs can range from $150 to $700. The theft offender class can be completed in a day and costs between $50 and $75.
The outcome of your case will depend on a number of factors, including where you were arrested, what items you allegedly took, your interaction with the police officer(s) at the scene, any prior convictions and what I would call “special circumstances”, i.e. any particular facts which make your case different than another case or that would cause a prosecutor to see your case in a different light.
As always, hiring an attorney for your Missouri shoplifting case is not only essential to getting a better resolution of the charge, but it will also remove a lot of the stress of having to go to court not knowing what to expect. In some cases, you may not have to attend court at all.
Been charged with shoplifting or stealing in Missouri? Traffic Ticket Center can help. Call us right away at (636) 486-2669.