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Attorney for Shoplifting in Nassau County, NY

Shoplifting is one of the few crimes committed more often by women than men. A shoplifting charge comes with serious criminal punishments that can cause great stress and embarrassment. Any conviction for shoplifting, petty larceny or retail theft is considered a “crime of dishonesty” that you might have to disclose every time you apply for a job. Charges for shoplifting and other crimes of dishonesty will show up in even the most basic background check depending on the way the case is ultimately resolved.

In Nassau County, a large number of these offenses happen at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream and the Roosevelt Field Mall Shopping Center in Garden City, NY.

For professionals, such as teachers, certified educators, nurses or other health care professionals, the charges are particularly serious because they can impact a professional license needed for employment purposes. Also, the charges are more serious for an individual who is not a citizen of the United States because of the immigration consequences. Students in graduate school, college or high school can face a disciplinary action even if the incident occurred off campus.

Attorney Stephanie Selloni is experienced in fighting criminal accusations for shoplifting and petit larceny throughout Long Island, including Nassau County. Her offices are conveniently located in Garden City, Nassau County, Long Island, NY.

Call Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today to find out the best way to resolve the case and protect your rights. During the initial consultation, Attorney Stephanie Selloni can explain what happens at the upcoming court date and your options for fighting to obtain the best possible resolution.

Information on Nassau County Shoplifting Charges

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Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) for Shoplifting in Nassau County

In many of these cases, the police officer will issue a desk appearance ticket for shoplifting or petit theft without making a formal arrest. The desk appearance ticket is a written notice to appear in court at a future date issued by a police officer. The notice also tells you the pending charge for shoplifting which is typically charged as petit larceny (155.25) or criminal possession of stolen property (165.40).

Most of these cases of retail theft involve an allegation that a person took something from a store without paying for it, concealed it and attempted to leave the store. In many cases, the person accused of shoplifting offense did pay for some items but failed to pay for other items. A loss prevention investigator will approach the person as he or she leaves the store and ask them to return to the loss prevention office. The loss prevention employee will then interrogate the suspect with the goal of obtaining a confession, preferably in writing. The job of the loss prevention employee is to gather evidence to assist in the prosecution. The retail establishments often have surveillance tapes of the incident, although that video evidence is not always preserved.

Sometimes the person will admit to taking the item with the intent to leave the store without paying for the item. Other times, the person will say it was an accident, either because the person intended to pay for the item or the person did not intend to leave the store with the item. After the loss prevention officer completes his or her investigation, he will call law enforcement. A law enforcement officer then will go to the scene to make the arrest or issue the desk appearance ticket.

The police may allege a sensor tag removal tool was used. A separate crime can be charged in those cases for possession of burglar’s tools. Other less common forms of shoplifting are more difficult for the prosecutor to prove beyond all reasonable doubt. Those types of offense include: switching tags from a less expensive item, returning stolen items or buying items with counterfeit gift cards.

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Penalties for Shoplifting in New York

Under New York Penal – Article 155, the penalties for larceny and shoplifting crimes depend on a variety of circumstances, including whether the person has a prior record and the value of the item stolen from the retail establishment. For instance, if the value of the item taken was less than $1,000, then the offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail. The court also can impose fines, probation and other penalties and punishments.

The Desk Appearance Ticket for Shoplifting in Nassau County, NY

In Nassau County, and throughout Long Island, NY, the police might issue you a Desk Appearance Ticket after a charge of shoplifting. The criminal offense can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. Common ways of charging shoplifting under New York law include:

Misdemeanor Shoplifting Crimes in Nassau County, New York

Both the crime of Petit Larceny (PL 155.25) and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree (PL 165.40) are charged as “A” misdemeanors. This type of misdemeanor shoplifting offense is punishable by up to on year in county jail.

In some cases, the law enforcement officer might also add a charge for possession of stolen property.

Felony Shoplifting Crimes in Nassau County, New York

Depending on the value of the property taken, shoplifting offenses can also be charged as a felony for either Grand Larceny or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree. For either of these felony offenses, the prosecution must prove that the value of the property was in exceed of $1,000 (one-thousand dollars). Both of these felony offenses are “E” felonies punishable by up to four years in prison.

Shoplifting Offenses for First Time Offenders

The prosecutors in Nassau County and Suffolk County, NY, have different programs for first-time offenders. Talk with an attorney about the different programs and whether such a resolution might lead to a good result in your case.

If the value of the property is $100 or less, the prosecutor will often agree to an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD). If you agree, then the case would be dismissed and sealed after six months. As the amount of the theft goes higher than $100, the prosecutors become less willing to work out a deal that will result in the charges being dismissed and sealed, although such a resolution might be negotiated.

In some cases, the prosecutors will agree to resolve the case by amending the charges to Disorderly Conduct. This amended charge of disorderly conduct is a violation and not a more serious misdemeanor. In some cases, particularly if the value of the property stolen is high or other aggravating circumstances exist, the prosecutor will not offer a “plea bargain” and may require the person accused to plea to the crime which is considered a “crime of dishonesty” which will show up on even the most basic background check.

Additional Resources

New Plan for Shoplifters at Nassau County Malls – Read a recent news article from EyeWitness News 7 about a controversial new plan to deal with alleged shoplifters at the Nassau County Malls on Long Island including the Roosevelt Field Mall Shopping Center in Garden City and the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. Under the new pilot, program shoplifters will be issued an appearance ticket instead of being taken to the precinct. According to Nassau County Police Commissioner, the change will impact only a small number of cases. Law enforcement officers in Suffolk County also have the discretion to issue an appearance ticket to an alleged shoplifter instead of making a formal arrest in many cases.

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Finding a Shoplifting Defense Attorney in Garden City, Nassau County, NY

If you were arrested for shoplifting or petit larceny in Nassau County, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Garden City, NY. Stephanie Selloni provides a free confidential consultation to discuss the property crime charges either over the phone or in the office.

Many of these shoplifting incidents occur at JC Penney, Walmart, Kohls, and Macy’s. Loss prevention employees at these stores are particularly aggressive. An accusation of retail theft can also occur in retail establishments throughout Nassau County including Valley Stream, Massapequa, East Garden City, Westbury, Hempstead, Mineola, Levittown, and Baldwin.

Whether you were formally arrested and booked into the jail or released at the scene with a desk appearance ticket, call Stephanie Selloni to discuss your case and possible defenses.