Being Forgetful Can Get You Arrested
Imagine shopping at a store while you have your kids with you. You are watching three kids, talking on the cell phone and shopping for school supplies. While you are on the phone, you pick up an item and place it in the front part of your shopping cart and place your purse over it while not even thinking. You continue shopping and go to pay for the items in your cart. You pay the cashier and proceed to go through the check out line to your car. Immediately you are surrounded by loss prevention officers who confront you, and take you back to their security office. They accuse you of theft and claim that you were stealing from their store. You are anxious and afraid so you tell them you did it but that it was an accident. The loss prevention officer who is not a police officer does not care and proceeds to tell you that the police will be on their way to arrest you unless you admit to stealing the items. Scared of the arrest, you tell them what they want you to say. Now the police are at the store. The police question the loss prevention officer, question you and write up their report. At this point they arrest you or issue you a notice to appear in court. Either way you have just entered the criminal justice system.
Now you are facing a crime that has implications on your integrity, your job and your life. If this ever happens it can be a devastating experience especially based on an honest mistake or a forgetful or distracted moment. You can face drivers' license suspension, court fines, probation, theft courses and in some cases jail time. Many stores such as Publix, Macy's, Wal-Mart, Sak's, Disney, Universal, J.C. Penny's, Albertson's, Sears, Belz outlet, Millennium Mall, Florida Mall hire aggressive loss prevention officers who are not going to listen to your side of the story and are protected by a Florida law from being sued in many circumstances.
Fortunately, if this is your first offense you may be eligible for a first offender program that can result in your charges being dismissed. This program is call pretrial diversion and if you get in and complete the conditions, your charges may get dropped and then you can hire an attorney to expunge your records. The Orlando, Florida defense attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm are experienced with these types of theft and shoplifting cases and will work hard to protect your rights and seek the best resolution for your case. If you desire, our Orlando lawyers will go to a jury trial and explain to the jury that you did not willfully steal any items but rather made a mistake or were distracted if those are indeed the circumstances.
On the Wrong Side of the Law? We have years of experience with shoplifting arrests.
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