Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Wichita, KS for a Shoplifting Charge?

by | Mar 2, 2015 | Lawyers

Many people in the Wichita, KS area make the dumb mistake of shoplifting. When they get caught, they assume that any involvement with the criminal justice system will be minor. Unfortunately, that may not be the case for those who choose not to hire legal counsel. A shoplifting offense could lead to a misdemeanor or felony conviction depending on the seriousness of the offense. If a person is convicted of shoplifting after age 17, that could result in a permanent criminal record that will make it harder to rent an apartment or get a job for decades. That is why it is very important for those charged with shoplifting to consider hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Wichita KS in order to avoid a criminal conviction.

If an attorney is hired prior to shoplifting charges being filed, the store that caught the shoplifter may not have referred the case to the criminal justice system. In this type of situation, the lawyer may negotiate with the business in order to settle out-of-court. Financial restitution is often required. Unfortunately, negotiating with the victimized shop is often not an option.

Many people go to Rockylaw.net and hire an attorney after charges are filed by the local district attorney. In this situation, the Criminal Defense Lawyer in Wichita KS will try one of two things. One option is to have the defendant complete a diversion program. This is often available for first time offenders of minor shoplifting. After the diversion program has been completed successfully by the defendant, the original criminal charges are dropped. This type of program is designed to rehabilitate shoplifters into becoming law abiding citizens. If a diversion program is not available locally, the other option is to arrange a plea bargaining deal with the prosecutor to reduce the charges and the punishment in exchange for a guilty plea.

If a plea deal or diversion program is not available, the best course of action may be a jury trial. In this instance, the defense attorney will look for weaknesses in the case that may produce sufficient doubt to get a “not guilty” verdict from the jury. This is a costlier option, but it may be the only option available when the shoplifting offense is serious or if the defendant is a repeat offender.

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