A criminal record carries with it the potential to have a lifelong impact on you, affecting where you can work, where you can live, and which school you can apply to. Even a nonviolent crime, such as theft, can tarnish your reputation and result in several penalties that could leave you with expensive fines and time in jail or prison.
According to Nevada criminal statutes, there are several detailed definitions of theft, including:
- Controlling the property of another person with the intent to deprive that person of the property
- Using the property of another person without authorization
- Coming into control of lost or misdelivered property of another person without making reasonable efforts to notify the owner
- Knowingly drawing or passing a bad check
Also, the state of Nevada classifies several different criminal offenses as theft crimes, such as:
- Petit Larceny. Petit larceny, also known as petit theft, is the intentional taking of property valued at less than $1,200. Shoplifting, stealing a pet, or stealing items from a hotel room are all examples of petit larceny.
- Grand Larceny. Grand larceny, or grand theft, occurs when the value of property intentionally stolen exceeds $1,200. Grand larceny is a felony in Nevada, and penalties range depending on the value of the stolen items.
- Embezzlement is the intentional taking/stealing of money or property to which a person has been entrusted. Examples of embezzlement include stealing valuable inventory, taking profits to which one is not entitled, or failing to provide services for which one has been paid.
- Other offenses. Other violations of the general theft statutes include obtaining money or goods by pretenses, drawing, and passing a bad check, possession of the stolen property, identity theft, and fraud.
Furthermore, Nevada classifies its theft offenses according to the dollar value of the property involved in the following manner:
- Misdemeanor theft. If the theft involves property worth less than $250, it is considered a misdemeanor. A conviction carries a jail sentence of up to 6 months, a fine of up to $1,000, community service, or a combination of these punishment options.
- Category C felony theft. Theft is considered a category C felony if the value of the property or services stolen is more than $250 but less than $2,500. An offender may be sentenced to state prison for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years, as well as a fine of no more than $10,000.
- Category B felony theft. A category B felony theft is when the value of the property is $2,500 or more. If you’re convicted, you face a jail sentence of 1 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Shoplifting typically occurs when a person in a store slips a piece of merchandise in their pocket, bag, or under their arm. And then they try to leave the premises unnoticed.
Moreover, Nevada law defines shoplifting as intentionally stealing items from a retail establishment, which is formally referred to as larceny. The degree of larceny depends on the value of the stolen merchandise. Taking less than $1,200 worth of items is misdemeanor petty larceny and taking $1,200 or more is prosecuted as the more serious crime of felony grand larceny.
Petty larceny is a misdemeanor in Nevada. It carries a maximum of six months in jail and $1,000 in fines plus restitution. However, judges rarely impose jail for a first-time offense.
Grand larceny is a felony, and it carries a maximum of 20 years in Nevada State Prison and $15,000 in fines plus restitution. But it may be possible to get the charge reduced or dismissed with the help of a Neahusan Law attorney.
Four of the most common defenses to fight shoplifting charges include:
- The defendant did not intend to steal. Sometimes store patrons get distracted and innocently leave the premises after forgetting to pay, or maybe another person planted the stolen merchandise on the defendant without their knowledge. As long as the defendant did not intend to steal, no crime occurred.
- No shoplifting happened. Perhaps the shopkeeper agreed to let the defendant pay at a later time. Or maybe the defendant did pay, and the shopkeeper’s records are wrong. In these cases, such evidence as receipts, promissory notes, eyewitness testimony, and video footage may help demonstrate that nothing was wrongfully taken.
- Mistaken identity. Perhaps in the heat of the moment, the store owner attributed the theft to the wrong person. If the defense attorney can raise a reasonable doubt about the suspect’s identity, then the charges should be dropped.
- The police conducted an illegal search. Law enforcement requires probable cause to search. If the allegedly stolen merchandise was found through an unlawful search, then the judge may disregard it as evidence.
Shoplifting convictions are sealable after a predetermined period. And if the case gets dismissed, there is no waiting period to petition for a seal. Therefore, if you have been arrested on charges of shoplifting or larceny, retaining a Neahusan Law attorney dedicated to your defense is an important step to take.
Shoplifting may seem like a minor offense, but it can have lasting and harmful effects on your future. Don’t risk leaving your case to an inexperienced lawyer. Neahusan Law has plenty of years of experience in criminal defense, handling a wide range of larceny cases. At Neahusan Law, our goal is to have the charges against you reduced or the case dismissed entirely.
Contact Neahusan Law Today
A shoplifting conviction may result in serious consequences, regardless of the value of the allegedly stolen merchandise. In many cases, however, the circumstances surrounding accusations of shoplifting involve details that may lead to dismissing or reducing the charges. Neahusan Law has experience identifying these facts and presenting them favorably to a judge or jury.
Neahusan Law attorneys will fight your legal battles and handle your case with the attention it deserves. Contact Neahusan Law today at 775-420-5142 or on the contact form on our website. We are your legal lifeline in Reno, Sparks, Fallon, Carson City, Fernley, and the surrounding communities of Nevada.
443 Marsh Avenue, Reno, Nevada 89509