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  1. #1

    Exclamation Shoplifting While Under Duress

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Nebraska

    About a week ago on Nov. 3 my grandfather had passed away, and I had to work a few hours before I got the call telling me at 4am in the morning. Anyways, I have never done anything of this nature ever before at all.

    The only thing I remember about that day is going to work and going to NFM (Nebraska Furniture Mart) and while being there I was taken with somebody to a small room, where they were asking me a bunch of questions, but the only thing I remember telling them is that my grandfather died at 96 and I had just seen him the day before.

    I honest to God, have no idea how or why I would do something of that nature. I woke up...or rather woken up with the phone call. All I was thinking about was my grandfather I just saw and how he could be dead just like that.

    Apparently, while I was somewhat catatonic my brain was somewhere else while my body was doing something without checking with my brain.

    I just graduated from ITT Technical Institute with a Bachelor's degree, and have had no criminal behavior of any kind whatsoever in my 30 years. I am still unclear as to why I would have done that because I had paid for 2 other items, why not the 3rd?

    I barely remember anything I did that day at work because I couldn't focus at all!

    My question is this, I was given a pink slip and told to appear in court December 8th for the appearance. But the thing is the same day that I apparently committed the crime, I paid for it there on the spot, with a check. So technically speaking they got their restitution + $50 civil fees for the cop that took me into the office, which was apparently to compensate him from not being on the floor.

    Anyhow, the fee and the full amount was paid then and there, so what am I still going to the appearance for?

    Secondly, I have been reading up on what seem to be called diversion programs to keep these things from going onto your record. Considering I have never coherently, logically, or purposefully shoplifted a day in my life.

    Do I need to get a public defender, and ask her/him for a diversion program. Since i am 30 I am an adult, and I would like to keep this off of my record. This will certainly not help in the long run when it comes to getting a technical job.

    Please Respond Asap!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,421

    Default Re: Shoplifting While Under Duress , Please Respond Asap

    We can't help you nor can you apparently help yourself. You need a lawyer. If you are truly indigent, a public defender will be available to you. Ask at the first court appearance.

    I'm confused. What do you mean your court date is the same date you apparently committed the crime? This makes no sense at all. What day where you detained by security?

    Your civil restitution has no bearing on your CRIMINAL charges. The store is allowed to get their compensation whether or not the state chooses to punish you for the injury to society of you being a criminal.

    If there is a diversion open to you, that is your best option. Don't screw it up.

    Frankly, your inability to avoid committing crimes under periods of stress doesn't bode well with you for getting a job either. I'd avoid trying an insanity plea.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: Shoplifting While Under Duress , Please Respond Asap

    I'm confused. What do you mean your court date is the same date you apparently committed the crime? This makes no sense at all. What day where you detained by security?
    I was confused too. But I think I've managed to parse it - he paid for the stolen item on the same day that he stole it and was cited and given his court date, and apparently thinks that this has any bearing on whether he should be prosecuted.

    Anyhow, the fee and the full amount was paid then and there, so what am I still going to the appearance for?
    You're going to court because you still need to answer for your crime. If you don't go, you risk having a warrant issued for your arrest, and that will just complicate your life even further.

    As Ron notes, ask for a Public Defender at your arraignment. If you can't keep your wits about you enough to NOT STEAL when you're stressed out, I can't imagine you'll be able to do so to attempt to represent yourself in court.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Shoplifting While Under Duress , Please Respond Asap

    You were not "under duress" - no one forced you to steal.

    I would not try the insanity thing, as someone mentioned. You were in the right frame of mind to get yourself to this store.

    The Civil Demand that you paid on the spot is separate from the Criminal Charges you will be facing in court.

    You really need to get a lawyer. If you can't afford one - go to your court date, plead "Not Guilty" and ask for a Public Defender.

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