Maryland Theft Charges Attorney
There are few things more humiliating than being arrested for a crime such as shoplifting. Many people plead guilty, hoping the charge will just go away. Unfortunately, pleading guilty will have the opposite effect, resulting in a permanent criminal record. To minimize the effect of the arrest on your life, you should talk to an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible.
My name is James Crawford. For the past 18 years, I have defended people in Baltimore, Catonsville, Annapolis, Bel Air and throughout Maryland who have been charged with shoplifting and other theft crimes. My goal in a shoplifting case is to prevent a mistake from resulting in a criminal record that will follow you around for the rest of your life.
A Serious Crime in Maryland
Shoplifting less than $100 in merchandise is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. However, the potential consequences quickly escalate if the items you are accused of taking are more expensive. Shoplifting $100 to $1,000 in merchandise is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to a $500 fine. Shoplifting more than $1,000 is a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The value of the item you are accused of stealing is determined by its retail price, not what the store paid for the item.
If this is your first shoplifting offense, you may be eligible for probation before judgment, which can resolve the charges without the stigma of a conviction. If you successfully complete the terms of the probation, you can answer "no" if you are asked on a job application if you have ever been convicted of a crime.
If you face criminal charges, contact me, Annapolis and Baltimore shoplifting attorney Jim Crawford, before you talk to police or anyone else. I am available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To contact me, call 443-701-4525 or 866-635-0623. I offer a free initial consultation.