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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27435
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I have a question regarding a shoplifting incident. I was

Customer Question

I have a question regarding a shoplifting incident. I was previously apprehended twice in one year and both were city citations so I just paid the fines. Well In October 2014, I was accused of taking a bottle of soda. I was apprehended and not topped at the time. I then received a phone call from the police department 5 days later at 8:30 p.m. from a police officer accusing me of the crime. I explained that I had just exchanged the diet soda for a regular soda. I now just received a warrant to appear in court on June 15, 2015, in which 8 months has passed to plead guilty or not guilty. They say they have me on camera but I was never stopped and have never been sent anything by the store, etc. What are my options? What will be the outcome of all three occurrences seeing that it happened 3 times in once year but I am innocent of the last incident?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
Unfortunately, although in many instances the police make an arrest at the same time as the shoplifting incident, they do not have to do so. They have until the statute of limitations runs on the crime which, depending on the state can give them many months, even years to file charges.
So if you are expected to come to court and be arraigned on this charge, then your failure to appear will result in a warrant for your arrest. You need to get yourself representation and appear in court to address this matter. Since the other two times have been resolved with a fine, you can likely still get a non-incarceratory sentence on this matter.
Your worst case scenario would probably be probation if you wanted to resolve this by plea. And if you wanted to fight the case, your lawyer should still be able to see the video and let you know whether you'd have a viable defense to the charges.