How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask RobertJDFL Your Own Question

RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 10266
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
18284290
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
RobertJDFL is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been accused of 5th degree theft at a Sears store. I

Resolved Question:

I have been accused of 5th degree theft at a Sears store. I was looking for a new cell case, i brought in to the store my cell phone in a pink kids pouch and put that in a tiny clutch (for extra cushion). while going through the store i tried my phone in a bunch of cases, i accidently left my pink kids pouch on a rounder. I went to electronics to look at cases and when i came back through i saw that i had left my pink case on the rounder i picked it up opened it and pulled out 2 receipts and a dollar or 2 i had shoved in there earlier i then put my cell in there, i held my sm clutch, pink pouch and a skirt in my hand and went to fitting rm, when i came out i had put the pouch back in the clutch and then in my purse, i put the skirt back and left the store. in 5 sec 2 men yelled at me and said they saw me steal the pink pouch, hauled me to the back of store, they told me they had me on video taking the pink pouch and pull stuffing out of it then put it in my hand w/ the skirt and go to the fitting rm. I tried to tell them i had brought it in, but they just kept saying they have me on video They called the police, i have court date to answer to the charge, (i never admitted to stealing).. What do i do now?? "FYI", the pink pouch i think was a piece off of a purse or kids luggage something like that(it had no tags). I bought at goodwill awhile ago for .25 HELP!! Karin
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question. After reading my answer, please do not hesitate to reply if you have additional questions or need more information.

 

Whether or not the charges will be dismissed depends more on the weight of the evidence against you and how the prosecutor feels in the likelihood of obtaining a conviction. A prosecutor is not going to drop charges against an individual due to their medical disabilities, unfortunately, though they are likely to consider that in a plea negotation.

 

Theft is an intent crime. That is, in order to obtain a conviction against you, a prosecutor would have to show that you intentionally took the item without planning on paying for it. Obviously, you can't steal an item that you own and that you brought into the store. And, the burden is on the prosecutor to prove your guilt -you do not have to prove anything as a defendant.

 

I think if you got a lawyer, you would have a good chance of getting this dropped. It's likely that Sears has video surveillance, and they may have you on camera walking in with this item. It's also possible this is an item they don't even sell, proving you couldn't have stolen it. Furthermore, I would imagine that your item did not look like a new item at all. Therefore, I think there's some very serious problems with this case.

 

Your first hearing is normally just an appearance where you are expected to enter a plea. You can plead not guilty and the court will set the matter for a later date. If you don't have and can't afford an attorney, your first court appearance will be your opportunity to request a court appointed lawyer.

 

Alternatively, you can hire a private criminal defense lawyer before your court hearing who can likely enter a plea of not guilty for you and waive your appearance at the hearing and begin negotiating with the prosecutor to try and get the case dismissed.

 

*************************************************************************************************************

JUST ANSWER IS A "PAY FOR SERVICE". As I do this for a living, not a hobby, please honor and respect the honor code, and compensate me for my time as you would any other professional.

 

DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 10266
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
RobertJDFL and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I tried to ask more ? but it just comes up w/ i accepted I didn't accept the answer. Please it states if i have more questions, I was trying to ask
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

You actually did accept my previous answer, but you can ask follow-up questions. What did you want to know?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thankyou, If the store says they have me on video picking up the pink pouch and pull something out(which i did) why would they not show it to me? Also w/no tags on the item- they kept demanding what i did w/ the ticket, i just kept saying there is no ticket, after awhile they came back and asked where i bought it, i at that time said i don't remember most likely a Claire's or kids type store (i believe now i got it at Goodwill) anyway they replied back saying it was a add on to a sears only item. Do you believe they were trying to bait me or something like that? I have never been in any trouble in my life, and I am sure i looked suspicious going through the store and grabbing all kinds of cases pulling stuff out and putting my cell in, but you would think if i were going to steal one it would have been a half ways decent one, not a little kids pink pouch.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 3 years ago.

Assuming they have video (and larger stores often do) the reason they didn't show you is because they're under no obligation to show you. Now, if you get a lawyer, they can demand any evidence the state intends to present in bringing their case, and that would include video.

 

Were they trying to bait you? Maybe so. If they could get you to sign something that says you stole the item, then that could be used against you. I have my doubts as to that being an "add on" item for Sears, too.

 

It's going to take more than mere suspicious behavior for them to get a conviction, though, and I don't think they can demonstrate that you took it from their store.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
One more ? please, Ok 2, I was in a Staples store earlier that day doing the same thing(going through all their cases and trying to put my cell in them) Is it ok for me to go in and ask if anyone remembers me and pink pouch? Would it be helpful if my daughter (who is 20 and lives w/ me) makes a statement that she has seen that pink pouch because i had gotten it for but she thought it was too little girl pink and put it in the basket in the closet where the sm clutch that i carried the pink pouch in that day was at? I had even left the basket out. Thank You
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 3 years ago.

No problem on the follow up questions. Both of those things might be helpful, yes, epsecially if you have an attorney who is trying to get the charges dropped, if you have witnesses who will sign affidavits, for example, that they remember you having it in your possession that day that will help show you didn't take anything.

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much for your time and help, I don't feel quite so lost...
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 3 years ago.
My pleasure. I think it'll work out okay for you.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.