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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    4

    Exclamation Caught Stealing at Macy's, First Offense

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California
    Age at time: 23__First time, clean record

    Hello,
    This is my first offence and I am ashamed to say that I got a yellow ticket yesterday for shoplifting 4 pairs of Jeans (2 times in same day) worth 935 dollars from Macy’s in the Mall.

    1st time, I removed the sensors in the fitting room and took 2 pairs of jeans out and put in the car and I came back the 2nd time after an hour did the same thing and When I walked out of the store, a loss prevention worker caught me. Later they said they saw me in the camera during the first time but they were busy. I was taken to the back room, found the 2 jeans from my bag, questioned by the store staff that noted down the information and let me sign the “do not come back” form. After the police came one of the store staff took my car key and went to my car got the 1st 2 pairs of jeans back. None of the merchandise had been harmed except the 3 sensors. The police took me to the police station in the mall and gave me the ticket (PC 484(A)/PC 490.5(A) Misdemeanor) with the court date (072511) and let me go.

    I am very ashamed; this is my first and last time. I an international student majoring in computer science with only one month left until I graduate. I have a lot of stress and I’ve been taking “Trazodane” pill for months from school health center to help with depression. I am very scared. I am afraid I will not get a job and apply further immigration action.

    My question is
    1. What will happen to me? Go to jail and leave a record? Is the record removable?
    2. What is the best way to minimum the case?
    3. Does it also affect my future employment since I am an international; applying for H1B working visa (I might apply very soon)?

    Please reply, any help is appreciated greatly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toledo Ohio
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Caught Stealing at Macy's, First Offense

    So far you may be very fortunate to come out with a misdemeanor as the Items were over $900.

    I don't think you will go to jail for the first offense buy you may be in the Grand Theft category over $400 and will benefit from an attorney.

    You will probably pay restitution via a letter sent to you from Macy's. Fast payment of the restitution may look good in court.

    You will probably have a court summons to appear at some time. If guilty, you will most likely have a record.

    You may also pay a court fine.

    It probably will affect future employment if you are convicted and they do a background check. I suggest getting a lawyer and the price you pay for a good lawyer, will pay its self off long term.

    There are lawyers out there that will walk you through the whole legal process and can barter for no criminal record and reduction in punishment. See if you can get a free consultation someplace.

    Was it out of the question to just buy some cheaper jeans at Walmart ? Would have been much cheaper in the long run.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Caught Stealing at Macy's, First Offense

    thank you DaveJames for the reply.
    yes, this is a big lesson ... it won't happen again.

    Is the record removable? Do you know what kind of attorney I should hire that can barter for no criminal record? and how much they normally charge ?

    anyone who has the knowledge please reply ,any help is appreciated greatly.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toledo Ohio
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Caught Stealing at Macy's, First Offense

    I'd google "shoplifting attorney California". A few will come up with a free consultation.

    You have time and don't let any attorney high pressure you to commit to retain them. That's if they start trying to sound like you are going to jail etc unless you hire them.

    You have plenty of time to interview a few and pick one that sounds level headed.

    They can give you quotes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Caught Stealing at Macy's, First Offense

    I had a conversation with a local attorney, he charges $1500-2000. He said I wont be expel from the country, other than that he can not say much until i hire him. I am really worried my future record. Do i have to hire a local attorney? If so what is the benefit, please help ?

    thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toledo Ohio
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Caught Stealing at Macy's, First Offense

    You will have to keep calling around and the attorneys can answer your residual questions. There is no set price. Make it clear to them you have been charged with a misdemeanor and shoplifted an amount just over $900.

    I believe the attorney will have to appear at the court and can't do all negotiating over the phone with the prosecutor or judge if it gets that far.

    You have time, so keep working at it as it will be hard work but work that is essential.

    That's all I can answer for you. You don't need a lecture on shoplifting anymore as you are finding out why it can be very expensive and stressful on your own.

    I am not sure how long Macy's have to press charges or how strict they are at prosecuting; maybe some other member of the forum can answer that.

    At minimum get a public defender.

    Also do some searching on other people's experience and see if they have a diversion program like this: Maybe you can get into one with just a Court Appointed Public Defender.

    http://www.councilbluffs-ia.gov/legal.asp?page=6

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...2233154AAqLVwc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Caught Stealing at Macy's, First Offense

    You want a Criminal Defense Lawyer. You also want to talk to an Immigration Lawyer.

    Bear in mind.....$900 is not first time shoplifting...to a prosecutor and judge....this is not your first time shoplifting. It is the first time you got caught.

    Unless you somehow get the charges thrown out of court, you WILL have a criminal record. It will last for quite a few years (you can research how long it takes in California to apply for expungment) . Yes, this can affect your visa being extended or even a new visa granted, so you will want to consult with an Immigration attorney also.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Caught Stealing at Macy's, First Offense

    PandorasBox , thanks for the clear reply. Could you also point some tips on how to pick a lawyer? Is there any matters need attention when i talk to them?

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Caught Stealing at Macy's, First Offense

    Set up an appointment for a consultation.

    Explain your case clearly, what you are charged with and what happened. Be honest about guilt with your lawyer. And explain your visa, ask how the charges will affect it.

    You can check out a few lawyers....hit the yellow pages, etc. Listen to what they have to say and hire who you think will best represent you.

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