Theft Lawyer in Vancouver WA
Roger Priest is a criminal defense attorney in Vancouver WA with extensive courtroom experience in Washington’s complex criminal laws
Shoplifting charges or other theft related charges can have a lasting impression. A theft conviction can keep you from getting certain jobs, because many believe it shows that you are a dishonest person. A theft lawyer can help you decide whether you have a good defense to shoplifting charges before deciding how to proceed. In many cases, a conviction can be avoided either by negotiation or trial. Each charge is different, so consulting with a theft lawyer on your case can help you find out whether there is any way to avoid having a theft conviction on your criminal record. Criminal defense lawyer Roger Priest has handled countless charges of theft, from person on person theft to shoplifting charges.
Shoplifting charges are some of the most common misdemeanor charges around. Most retailers employee security or loss prevention officers whose entire job is to deter and prevent shoplifting. Often, they employ closed circuit camera surveillance to look for suspicious shoppers and watch to see if they steal merchandise. Once they observe someone hide or remove merchandise from its packaging, they will go wait for the person to exit the store. Once the person tries to leave the store, security will stop the person (using force if necessary) to recover the merchandise. They will often try to force the shoplifter back into a holding area to wait for police. Retailers are only allowed to use force against a shoplifter to recover merchandise. Once they’ve recovered their merchandise, they are not legally allowed to use force against a shoplifter to keep them on premises while waiting for police to arrive. Nevertheless, most retailers will try (even using force) to make a shoplifter stay on scene until police arrive. If you’ve been charged with shoplifting charges, a theft lawyer can help you decide whether you have a defensible case at trial.
How to Avoid a Theft Conviction
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting or theft, you may have more options than just trial or pleading guilty. You may qualify for adult diversion or even a civil compromise. Either option can help you avoid a conviction without having to risk going to trial.