The Criminal Lawyers of Kopecky Law, P.A. are very experienced in these types of criminal cases and will give you a FREE CONSULTATION to let you know your options. We can subpoena information from the alleged “victim” including video coverage if it exists showing you allegedly perpetrating the crime. If surveillance equipment was not a factor, we will examine your case closely to determine whether or not the arresting officer had both reasonable suspicion and probable cause to justify your arrest. An improper search or arrest may result in a motion for suppression of the evidence and the ultimate dismissal of the charges against you. Whatever your situation, we will work to get you the best results possible.
If you got caught shoplifting or stealing and are fearful of the potential penalties you are facing, fear not, with the help of a good criminal lawyer, you can be well protected. We understand that anyone may make a bad decision on a particular day and it is our job to try and make sure that mistake won’t haunt you for the rest of your life. If the event you are accused of shoplifting or stealing something you didn't, then we need to aggressively fight back and advise you of your rights to pursue civil damages against your accuser. If you have been improperly held against your will, then you may have a cause of action for false imprisonment. If you have been prosecuted without any real evidence, you may have a case for malicious prosecution.
You may be asking yourself if you really need a criminal defense lawyer to handle a shoplifting charge or should you just go to court by yourself, throw yourself on the mercy of the court, and plead guilty. A good defense lawyer who knows Missouri shoplifting laws backwards and forwards and can properly advise you of the best approach to take; it is critical to making sure that your legal and constitutional rights are protected, and that you get the best possible outcome of your case.
Shoplifting versus Stealing?
Missouri Shoplifting or Stealing Charges
Shoplifting falls under the crime of Stealing in the State of Missouri. Under Missouri shoplifting laws, stealing is defined as one who " appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion." Stealing can be a serious offense, especially when amounts stolen are combined as part of the same "criminal episode", making the dollar value of the items and the penalties significantly higher.
Stealing may take many forms under Missouri Criminal Law:
- to fail or refuse to pay for property or services rendered at a place such as a hotel, restaurant, or inn;
- to pay for such property or services above with a check or negotiable paper on which payment was refused;
- to leave such property with the intent to not pay for property or services rendered;
- to cheat or defraud a retailer by altering a price or price tag;
Stealing is a Class C Felony in Missouri if the value of the property or services are more that $500, but less that $25,000. If the item is valued at more than $25,000 it would be considered a Class B Felony under Missouri criminal law. If on a second offense, the item stolen is valued at more than $3000, then it would be a Class B Felony.
Felony stealing carries a penalty of potentially 1 to 7 years in jail and a fine of up to $5000. Any third offense of a stealing criminal charge is considered at least a Class D felony.
If the item is valued at under $500, and isn't an otherwise prohibited item (such as a firearm or other contraband), then it would be considered a Class A Misdemeanor. A misdemeanor stealing charge can carry a penalty of from 1 day to 1 year in jail, and a fine of up to $1000.
Kansas Shoplifting or Stealing Charges
- If the merchandise is valued at less than $1,000, the crime is a Class A misdemeanor.
- If the merchandise is valued more than $1000, the charges rises to a Level 9 non-person felony in Kansas. A conviction may result in substantial jail time, in addition to court costs and restitution.
- Theft of merchandise from three different stores in a 72-hour period is also a Level 9 felony.
- Removal of anti-theft devices, possession of a tool for removing anti-theft tags, or possession of other apparatus intended to defeat anti-theft devices are Level 9 felonies.
- Prior offenses for shoplifting or theft can result in harsher sentences if convicted.
If you've been arrested for Stealing, Shoplifting, Theft, or Larceny in Missouri or Kansas, you need an experienced criminal lawyer to help you. Call the criminal attorneys at Kopecky Law, P.A. for the help you need today at (816)421-0100 in the Kansas City metro or (314)363-8180 in the St. Louis metro.