When you or your child have been accused of shoplifting, you’re afraid of going to jail. But that’s not all you have to be worried about. Depending on what’s stolen and its value, shoplifting can be a misdemeanor or felony theft charge. The conviction could impact you or your child’s future. That’s particularly concerning if your son or daughter is a teen or in college. A criminal record can impact a person’s education, job opportunities, professional licensure, and much more.
Knowing the potential severity of shoplifting consequences, it’s best to talk with a defense attorney who can help. Whether you’ve been falsely accused, or your child made a mistake, whether it’s a first offense, or you’re worried about being labeled a repeat offender, attorney Michael Fayard understands how important it is to avoid a conviction.
When Michael Fayard takes on your case, he wants to hear the whole story. He’s here to listen, not judge. He’ll investigate the facts of the matter carefully. Every detail matters. Then he comes up with the best possible strategy to avoid a conviction or mitigate the consequences of a potential conviction.
He might pursue having the charges dropped or dismissed. This is often the best-case scenario. The next best option might be to have the charge reduced to a lesser charge, such as from a Class C felony (second-degree theft) to a misdemeanor (third-degree theft), or from a misdemeanor to a petty misdemeanor (fourth-degree theft). For example, he might find the prosecutor over-valued the merchandise involved, and the corrected value leads to a lesser charge.
Attorney Fayard will always talk with you about your options. He’ll be honest about what he sees as your best- and worst-case scenarios. With all the facts at hand, you and Michael Fayard can decide how to move forward.
Michael was co-counsel representing a maritime worker that was injured when a negligent employee struck him in the head with a bell hammer attached to a crane. Pre-trial offer was $0.00.
SR v. TS, et al. – I represented an elderly client that was the injured and was the victim of fraud and theft by thieves using a forged power of attorney and forged deed. Pre-trial offer was $2,500.00.
Shoplifting is a theft offense in Hawaii, but it’s unique. You don’t have to complete the crime, in a sense. More specifically, you don’t have to make it out of the store with the merchandise. Concealing merchandise in a bag, switching tags or labels to get a lower price, or switching the content of containers all constitutes shoplifting, even if you don’t leave the store with it.
When you or a loved one are accused of shoplifting, you have to look at Hawaii’s theft laws to determine the level of the charge and potential consequences.
Hawaii’s theft statute gives a range of four charges:
Attorney Fayard knows how prosecutors think because he used to be one. He knows the State pushes for the harshest shoplifting charge. That’s why he carefully reviews the facts of your case to determine if you should face a lesser felony or misdemeanor theft offense. If he can’t successfully win a dismissal, then a charge reduction can help mitigate the consequences of a conviction.
The penalties for a shoplifting conviction can be tough, including hefty fines and weeks, months, or years of incarceration.
You can be sentenced to jail or prison for shoplifting:
There are also specific minimum shoplifting fines:
As your shoplifting attorney, Michael Fayard can ask that you receive the minimum sentence available. If it’s likely you’ll be convicted, his focus will be on helping you avoid time in jail.
The charges and consequences of a shoplifting conviction get worse if it’s your second, third, fourth, or subsequent offense. If you end up with two or three property crime convictions within 10 years, you’re labeled a repeat offender. For another crime, you face a Class C felony penalty and, if convicted, must serve at least one year in prison.
There are other specific sentencing rules, too. If you have three prior misdemeanors and are convicted of misdemeanor shoplifting, you’ll spend at least nine months in jail. If you have a previous Class B or C felony conviction, you also face a minimum prison sentence based on the number and severity of your past crimes.
- Cliff T
If your teenage son or daughter was arrested for shoplifting, talk with an attorney who can guide you through the Hawaii juvenile court process. This is a different experience than adult criminal court.
You’ll receive a letter from Family Court telling you your child is charged with a law violation or a status offense. A law violation means your child broke a law, like shoplifting. A status violation is not illegal for adults, like breaking curfew, running away, or skipping school.
Your child always has the right to an attorney. If your family can’t afford one, you can get a public defender. By hiring a shoplifting lawyer, you have someone to pursue what’s in the best interests of your child. Attorney Fayard might be able to get your child into a diversion program and avoid a juvenile court case. If your child is found guilty of shoplifting, incarceration is an option, but by no means certain. Attorney Fayard can pursue counseling and supervision for your son or daughter.
Michael Fayard’s practice is located in Honolulu, HI. He represents adolescents and adults charged with shoplifting and other theft offenses, whether misdemeanors or felonies. He can represent you in court on O’ahu or other neighboring islands.