I am active duty military and my wife has been charged with shoplifting from the store on base. Thus she is being charged with theft of government property.For those not familiar with the military the store on base, named AAFES, is similar to a small Wal-Mart. THe store is layed out like a small mall with a food court and other small AAFES shops. At the time, my wife was an employee of AAFES, working in one of the restaurants in the food court. She went into the store approximately 30 minutes before going to work to exchange an item she purchased the previous day. She went to the womens section and picked up two shirts. She went into the dressing room with the shirts, two bags and her purse. The bags contained her work uniform and the item that she was returning. After she tried on the shirts in the dressing room she decided that she wanted to purchase them. She realized that she was running short on time and gathered up the bags and shirts and was off to the customer service counter to return the item. In her hurry she placed the shirts that she wanted to buy in her bag. She went to customer service and returned the item and then proceeded directly to work in the food court. At this time is about 15 minutes prior to when she was supposed to clock in. She simply forgot about the 2 shirts in her bag. Once she entered the common "mall area" she was apprehended by loss prevention and the base security forces where called. She is being charged with theft of government property and must appear before a federal magistrate.
My wife had the means to pay for the items. I know that she would not intentionally steal. She was simply in a hurry to get to work. She never left, nor attempted to leave the AAFES facility. In fact she was going to be on the premises for another 6 hours working in the food court. She has no prior history for any offense. What do we do? We do not want her to have a criminal record becasue of this. She is in school for nursing and cannot be licensed for 7 years if she has a theft conviction on her record. Additionally, she is an immigrant (been in country 1.5 years) and has a conditional resident status. Will this affect her being granted permanent resident status?