Minnesota Shoplifting and The consequences:  A shoplifting charge can be devastating. Even a minor theft charge can have lasting negative consequences.

People charged with or convicted of shoplifting can face a number of negative consequences from rejected job applications, denial of housing, denial of credit, exclusion from certain professions, denial of licensure or denial of professional or state certification. These consequences are called “collateral consequences”. The Court and prosecutor have no ability to control these collateral consequences even if they were unintended.

Many professions will not hire a person with a shoplifting or theft charge, never mind a conviction. Good examples of professions that routinely deny applications are the Banking, Nursing, Medical, Legal, Teaching, and Criminal Justice fields. Other professions such as healthcare, health and beauty, or any other profession that may require a license or certification. These professional routinely perform criminal background checks. Other employers or professions  conduct criminal background checks on new hires and present employees. Often these criminal background checks result in a denial of employment or termination from employment. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney such as Martin Azarian can spot these consequences and can prevent or lessen the impact of these consequences.

Why is a shoplifting or theft charge so devastating? A shoplifting or theft charge is an “assault” on your good reputation. Plain and simple. Theft is a crime of moral turpitude. In plain language, a shoplifting or theft charge means the person cannot be trusted with another person’s property, valuables or money. If a person can’t be trusted to walk into a store and pay for an item, why would an employer trust this person with its or its clients’ money or property? The answer typically is: “The employer probably won’t trust that person and probably won’t hire that person.” The same holds true for housing applications and credit applications. Landlords, banks and credit companies routinely perform criminal background checks. In fact, anyone can perform a criminal background check by simply visiting any courthouse, going to the court’s website or the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s website.

Immigration Consequences.   If you are not an American Citizen read this portion very carefully. If you are not an American Citizen and you have been charged with a shoplifting or theft offense you should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. Second, it is important that you consult with an attorney who practices in the area of immigration law. It is important to remember with respect to non-citizens charged with theft is to do everything possible to have the charge dismissed.

What is Shoplifting? Surprisingly, there is no Minnesota law that speaks directly to shoplifting, but rather shoplifting is categorized as Theft. The criminal definition of Theft can be found in Minnesota Statute Section 609.52. Simply put, theft is the intent of a person to permanently deprive another of his or her property without permission or legal right to do so. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person had the intent and did so without legal authority. Even if the prosecutor can prove the case, not all is lost. Many times it is possible to have these cases dismissed or scheduled for dismissal. But you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call Martin Azarian today to discuss your case. Call 612-343-9000 or 952-975-0663.

The Judge or the Prosecutor told me that I would not have a record but an employer found my case.

It is important to remember that the word “record” has no legal meaning. But the words “Court Record” and “Criminal Record” do. Courts in Minnesota keep detailed public records of all cases, even cases that are dismissed. Just because a case was dismissed does not mean it disappears. Cases that result in a criminal conviction are recorded both with the court and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). These convictions appear on the court’s public website and the BCA’s public website. If you have a criminal matter that is preventing you from moving forward with your career, profession or your life call Martin Azarian at 612-343-9000 or 952-975-0663 or VISIT MY WEBSITE: WWW.MNEXPUNGEMENTLAWYER.COM.

Level of Crimes. With respect to shoplifting or theft, in Minnesota there are three levels of criminal charges. The lowest level is misdemeanor theft. Items or services taken (stolen) valued at less than $500.00 results in a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000.00 fine or both. Theft of items valued less than $1,000.00 but more than $500.00 results in in Gross Misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $3,000.00. Theft of items totaling $1,000.00 or more typically result in a felony charge. Felony charges are the most serious and are punishable by at least a year and a day in prison and fines greater than $3,000.00.

It is interesting to note that unlike other states, Minnesota does not have a Petty Misdemeanor Theft Statute. All theft charges start out as crimes, even if the theft is for an item valued at only once cent. Finally, theft crimes are not payable offenses. Court appearances are required.

If you, a loved one or a friend has been charged with a shoplifting or a theft related offense it is very important to consult with an experience criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call Martin Azarian at 612-343-9000 or 952-975-0663 today for your free initial telephone consultation.