Do you Need a Lawyer for a First-Offense Shoplifting Case?


In Virginia a charge of shoplifting, even for a first offense is a misdemeanor if the value of the goods that you allegedly stole is less than $500.00. If it’s $500.00 or more than you’re actually charged with a felony even if it’s your first offense in most cases.

The potential punishment for a misdemeanor shoplifting in Virginia is up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500.00 fine. However the most critical part of being charged with shoplifting is not so much the cost of the punishments today, but the ramifications in the future of having a shoplifting conviction on your record.

If you ask anyone who’s been convicted of shoplifting how it has affected their job prospects down the road, you’ll be very shocked to learn that it’s been very difficult in most cases for employers to be able to get over a shoplifting conviction. Now this doesn’t occur in every single case and for every employer. But in many cases, shoplifting can cause serious job ramifications for many years down the road. Check out the article I wrote about a lady who’s 40-year-old shoplifting conviction got her fired from her job.

Now that’s not to say that hiring a lawyer is going to automatically get your shoplifting case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. However, that is certainly going to be the goal for a shoplifting case. Meaning in many shoplifting offenses it’s desirable for you to be found guilty of anything but shoplifting within reason of course.

Around Spotsylvania, one of the things we can do for a shoplifting is sometimes get the charge amended to trespassing. That is still a misdemeanor offense; however, it’s not one that looks as bad on the record. If we can get your charge amended to trespassing that is a very desirable outcome and it is one that I would recommend that we shoot for if that is the best we can do.

In Stafford, it can be a little trickier to get a trespassing amended from a shoplifting case; however, it is something that we can still shoot for and something that does happen on some cases.

Definitely if you’re charged with shoplifting–even though it is a first offense–you need to talk with an experienced shoplifting lawyer in the area where your case is pending. Give me a call today so we can talk about the specifics of your case and see about trying to avoid a shoplifting conviction on your record.

Photo by:Bread Mouth

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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