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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 Criminal Defense attorney like Yliana Carmenate as soon as possible. With a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you can greatly increase your chances of getting a positive outcome. Ms. Carmenate 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.
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 (subject to change):
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.
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