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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3149
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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I shoplifted. Caught on tape. left store. Now, the police

Customer Question

I shoplifted. Caught on tape. left store. Now, the police have just called. I said I was someone else. They said to have "me" call them about "something that happened."
I currently am being sentenced for an unrelated crime in a few weeks that will put me in jail for 5 months. (I know that is definitely not hiding) What do I do?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
This will be a violation of my probation if I have contact with them before sentencing
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 11 months ago.


First, you should not talk to the police without first consulting with your attorney. You have no obligation to say anything to the police at any time. And it is dangerous if you do tell them anything that is false. So, you should bring this matter up with your attorney immediately, and he/she will tell you not to talk to the police. Unfortunately, if they do find out about this, your probation may be in jeopardy. This is why it is best to bring this matter to the attention of your attorney in case the matter is discovered some negotiations can be had to preserve your probation.


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
How do I avoid not talking to the police without it being in a "false manner". Like, if they call again, or come to my door and I really am home?
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 11 months ago.

You can just tell them that you are asserting your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, and that you will not speak with them unless your attorney is present.


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If I were to send someone to the store with money to cover the value of the items. Could he drop charges? If he wanted to?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If my father went and explained to him how sick I am (alcoholic) and was able to reimburse him, and the store owner agreed, could the charges be dropped?
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 11 months ago.

He could yes. But doing so may be an admission of guilt on your part that could possibly be used against you in the probation matter. So, I would not recommend doing that until you consult with your attorney about the entire situation.


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