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 xavierjd Your Own Question

xavierjd
xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience:  20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
14261217
Type Your Legal Question Here...
xavierjd is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my daughter is being charged for shoplifting at walmart. she

Customer Question

my daughter is being charged for shoplifting at walmart. she supposedly took a case of soda but the video survelience shows the cashier scanning items under her cart. but yet it is still my daughters fault even when the cashier didn't scan all items.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  xavierjd replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for using JustAnswer.com It will be my pleasure to assist you today.

Was the case of soda that she allegedly took underneath the cart? Or, was it in another cart?

Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

it was under the cart. a statement was made from the cashier that she stopped my daughter at the door, but video shows nher never leaving her register


 


 


 

Expert:  xavierjd replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I am SO sorry that your daughter finds herself in this HORRIBLE situation.

Just because she has been charged DOES NOT mean that she is guilty! In order to find your daughter guilty of the crime of shoplifting (or conversion), the prosecutor MUST prove EACH AND EVERY element of the crime BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

In Indiana, shoplifting falls under the broad definitions of theft and criminal conversion. Anyone who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over someone else’s property commits conversion, and anyone who does so with the intent to deprive the other person of the property’s value or use commits theft. In cases of first-time offenses, or when the value of the property is low, the prosecutor can decide to charge the offender with conversion, a Class A misdemeanor. In more serious cases, the prosecutor can charge the shoplifter with Class C or Class D felony theft, depending on the value of the merchandise. Criminal and civil penalties for shoplifting are described below.

Indiana's Criminal Shoplifting Penalties

Charge

Classification

Penalty

Shoplifting property with a total value under a certain value (at discretion of prosecutor)

Criminal conversion (Class A misdemeanor)

Fines up to $5,000; up to one year of imprisonment


Also, if she were convicted, she can be sued in a civil action by a victimized merchant for up to three times the actual damages (with a minimum award of $100), attorney fees, and costs related to the lawsuit.

THE GOOD NEWS is that in order for her to be found guilty, as I stated, the prosecutor must prove EACH AND EVERY ELEMENT of the crime BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. That is a VERY high burden.

The prosecutor would have to prove that your daughter knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over someone else’s property commits conversion, and anyone who does so with the intent to deprive the other person of the property’s value or use commits theft.

From the facts in your post, your daughter had NO knowledge of the cashier's MISTAKE. She did NOT knowingly or intentionally intend to deprive the store of its merchandise. That being so, especially if there is a video, the prosecutor wouldn't be able to prove knowledge or intent.

A theft crime carries HORRIBLE consequences (not only financially and with the risk of jail), but even more far reaching problems. If your daughter has a theft conviction on her record, it will be difficult for her to obtain employment, she may be prohibited from obtaining certain professional licenses, and may also not be able to obtain student loans (or she may lose any that she has) or enter into some graduate programs.

Therefore, your daughter REALLY needs to speak to an attorney ASAP! Sometimes, an initial consultation is free or at a minimal charge. She can discuss the facts of her case, evaluate her options and decide how to proceed.

Below is a link to the Indianapolis Bar Association Attorney Referral Page. Even if you do not live in that area, you may still be referred to an attorney in your area.

http://www.indybar.org/community/lawyer-referral-service/


If your daughter can't afford to hire an attorney, she can ask the judge to appoint her a public defender. In any event, she REALLY needs the assistance of an attorney. There is way too much at stake for her to try to handle this on her own.

I hope you find this information useful.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate it as "excellent" or in another positive manner. That is the only way that I can get credit for answering the question.

Thank you for your business!

XavierJD
xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience: 20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
xavierjd and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you. This helped to ease my mind, because I have been going off on the police dept, telling them to check their proof. It seems people have to prove yourself innocent, because law always says your guilty.

Expert:  xavierjd replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

You are VERY welcome!

Remember, it is the prosecutor who decides whether or not to charge a person with a crime. The police department does it's investigation and presents it to the prosecutor. It then falls on the shoulder of the prosecutor to determine whether there is enough "evidence" to charge a person.

Thank you so much for the "excellent service" rating! It is greatly appreciated and I am glad that you found the information useful.

If you have future questions, you can specifically request me by name as the expert.

Thanks again,

xavierjd

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:

 
 
 
  • 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
< Last | Next >
  • 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
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.