You Don’t Have to Take Colorado Shoplifting Charges Lying Down
It could be that the whole situation was a misunderstanding. Maybe it was not your first time, but now you are regretful and want to change your ways. Or you did it because you were down on your luck and were not sure how else to get the things you and your family needed. Perhaps you were goaded into it by friends. Or you just could not stop yourself.
There are all kinds of ways that people can be accused of and charged with shoplifting in and around Denver, and these days more and more stores are taking a hard line when they believe guests are stealing.
No matter what your situation, being stopped by store security and questioned or detained is not a fun experience. Most people go through a range of feelings, from surprise to fear to anger to a sense of hopelessness, depending on the specifics.
If you had to go through this, there were probably all kinds of questions running through your head:
- How can I get out of this?
- What should I say?
- Can I just walk away?
- Are they allowed to hold me?
- Why won’t they listen?
- Will I have to pay a fine?
- Could I possibly end up in prison?
As an experienced Denver criminal attorney who has helped countless Coloradans successfully battle charges like these, Jeff Weeden has heard it all before. He understands how disorienting it can be to suddenly be accused of theft in the middle of a store. To wonder what rights you have and what you are allowed to do. To feel like you are trapped and there is no way out.
This is what the powers that be want you to feel. Stores want other customers to notice your fear so that they will be deterred from stealing themselves. Police and prosecutors want you in a disoriented state so that you will be more likely to say or do something that can help them to convict you.
It does not have to be this way, though. You have rights, and both store and law enforcement officials are required to follow certain rules and procedures as they go through the process of detaining, arresting, and charging you.
Jeff Weeden knows these rights, rules, and procedures like the back of his hand. He understands how to guide you in your interactions with law enforcement and what to do if police or others treat you inappropriately.
Half the battle is simply getting in touch with him as quickly as possible and exercising your right to remain silent until he is able to be there when you are questioned.
Avoid Denver Shoplifting Penalties with a Knowledgeable Colorado Retail Theft Attorney
Are the penalties for shoplifting in Colorado really serious enough that you need a lawyer’s help? You better believe it.
In our state, shoplifting is covered under the laws against theft, sections 18-4-401 and 18-4-403 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.
What consequences will you face if you are found guilty of shoplifting? It varies, but all offenses are serious. Criminal consequences include:
Class 2 misdemeanor – For the theft of items with a value of less than $500.
- Three months to one year in jail.
- $250-$1,000 in fines.
Class 1 misdemeanor – For the theft of items with a value between $500-$1,000, or for possessing theft detection tools or tampering with devices designed to detect theft.
- Six months to 18 months in jail.
- $500-$5,000 in fines.
Class 4 felony – For the theft of items with a value between $1,000-$20,000.
- Two to six years in jail.
- $2,000-$500,000 in fines.
Class 3 felony – For the theft of items with a value of more than $20,000.
- Four to 12 years in jail.
- $3,000-$750,000 in fines.
Take a look at those penalties again. All it takes to receive a felony theft charge is to steal over $1,000 worth of merchandise.
Seems like a lot? Not when you consider the fact that multiple shoplifting trips are often lumped together into a single charge in our state.
Even if you are only accused of taking around $100 worth of items in an individual incident, it only takes about 10 trips to push you over that limit and into felony territory.
It does not stop there, either.
Beyond criminal charges, you may also face a civil penalty. Under the law, shoplifters in our state are liable for actual damages plus a penalty of between $100 and $250. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a minor who shoplifts, you will be held liable for these civil penalties.
Work with Knowledgeable Colorado Shoplifting Lawyers Who Understand the Available Options
It is fairly common in these types of cases for law enforcement officials to offer plea deals in an attempt to get someone to admit guilt. While a plea deal is not necessarily a bad idea, you should never simply accept the first offer you get – not without talking it over with an experienced defense attorney.
When you work with Jeff Weeden, his goal will always be to get your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed and see that you face the minimum possible penalties.
This might mean providing evidence that can show your innocence. Or that police violated your rights in a way that nullifies the charges – or at least gets evidence stricken from the record.
If that is not possible, he will look into alternative sentencing options such as pretrial diversion programs that can help you avoid incarceration – and sometimes may not even count as a conviction. At the very least, having a skilled Denver criminal lawyer on your side gives you a far better chance of getting a good plea deal.
Mr. Weeden has what it takes to help you get the best possible outcome – but he will not be able to use his abilities to your advantage unless and until you reach out. All you need to do to set up a free initial consultation is call (720) 310-2141, email email@example.com, or fill out our free case review form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Do not sit on your hands when your future is at stake. Get in touch today.