What can I do if my friend was shoplifting and I am being charged? - Criminal Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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What can I do if my friend was shoplifting and I am being charged?

I was at WalMart with someone and she stole over 300 dollars in merchandise. I was arrested because I was with her. I paid for my purchases. What can I do?

Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
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If you are charged, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. You may not be guilty of any offense or only actually guilty of a lesser offense. The prosecutor needs to prove their allegations beyond a reasonable doubt. You have a right to council. You have a right to a jury trial to contest the charges. I'd recommend you retain an attorney to assist you with this matter. If you cannot afford to retain an attorney, you may be able to request a court-appointed attorney at the public's offense.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/31/2011

Answer By Phil Hache
Law Offices of Phil Hache
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You should hire a criminal defense attorney to defend you in Court. Even though you and your friend were arrested together, I would strongly advise that you each hire your own separate attorney. It is possible to get your charges dismissed.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/26/2011

Answer By Craig Andersen
Andersen Law PLLC
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Hire an attorney.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/25/2011

Answer By Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman
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You need a lawyer. Because of the relatively large sum involved you are facing some serious ramifications.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/24/2011

Grasso Law Group
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You cannot be convicted of a crime by merely associating with someone that committed a crime. The issue is whether you were an accomplice or aided and abetted the other person.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/24/2011

Law Office of Phillip Weiser
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You should consult with an attorney to help you in these circumstances. He may be able to convince the prosecutor that you had no knowledge of the other persons activities.

Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 8/24/2011

Answer By Steve Freeborn
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
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I would consult with an attorney. The Walmart stores have a very good surveillance system. Hopefully the cameras do not show something contrary to what you are stating. You need to consult with an attorney. A shoplift conviction may result in jail time, but can also affect you future employability, as well as school grants and loans.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011

Answer By Terry Rose

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You need to retain an attorney and defend on the basis that someone else committed the crime.

Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/24/2011

Answer By Glenn M. Sowa
Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law
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First of all, it's best to consult with an attorney individually on this matter. It appears you are charged with a felony. If it can be proven that you had knowledge of your friend's intent to commit this theft and you assisted in any manner, you can be charged under an accountability theory. Under the law, you may be just a culpable as the one who actually committed the offense. The facts of the case will dictate the outcome.

Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/24/2011

Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
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You can hire a lawyer and fight it or try to get into diversion to prevent a conviction. Law enforcement is simply assuming that since you are with the person and did nothing to stop what was going on that you are adding the person.

Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/24/2011

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