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FloridaLawyer, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 741
Experience:  Former State Prosecutor, licensed attorney with active criminal defense practice
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My brother, who turned 18 in April 2008, was caught ...

Customer Question

My brother, who turned 18 in April 2008, was caught shoplifting at a former place of employment yesterday. We found out today he is charged with burglary and petty theft. What are the chances of getting those charges dropped to shoplifting and what is our family''s next recourse?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  FloridaLawyer replied 9 years ago.

Hello Customer:

Let me help you a little with the terminology here. If he was arrested yesterday, he most likely hasn't been formally charged by the State prosecutor's office just yet. What has probably happened so far is the law enforcement agency has forwarded their investigative reports and what is sometimes called a probable cause affidavit to the State Attorney's office (you may have heard the term D.A. for District Attorney which is the same thing). Then an intake attorney will look at the report, contact the alleged victim, and make what is called a "filing decision" which means he or she will decide what criminal charge, if any, to formally bring against your brother and prosecute him for that. The intake attorney can file more serious charges, lesser charges, or no criminal "Information" at all.

Burglary is typically a felony whereas shoplifting is usually a misdemeanor. These are some serious allegations and I would strongly suggest your brother retain an experienced criminal defense attorney licensed in your state.

Good luck!

Legal Disclaimer: The answer provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The information, research and opinions set forth above are limited to the facts presented in the question and no guarantee is made regarding the adequacy or accuracy of the answer. The answer provided does not infer or imply the establishment or acceptance of any attorney-client relationship. No claim is made that I am licensed to practice law in the state or jurisdiction where this information is being provided and you should always seek legal counsel admitted to practice in your local jurisdiction for representation and advice on any legal matter.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
So at this point what can my family do? Do we wait until his court date to post bail or can we get him out ealier?
Expert:  FloridaLawyer replied 9 years ago.

Hello again Customer:

If he has had his first appearance which is usually within the first 24 hours, then you can post his bond, or if its too high, you can have an attorney file a Motion to Set Reasonable Bond, set it for hearing, and argue why it should be reduced to a more affordable amount.

Good luck!