Have you been arrested for shoplifting in Indianapolis, Indiana? It’s important to begin to plan your defense strategies as soon as you can.
Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC to schedule a free initial consultation with our Indianapolis shoplifting defense attorneys. When we sit down to discuss your case, we can make sure that you understand your rights and answer any questions that you might have.
How a Suhre & Associates, LLC Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You Fight Back Against Your Shoplifting Charge
Every day, thousands of Indianans visit malls and plazas to purchase products for themselves and their loved ones.
For most, the shopping experience comes to a conclusion when they load their items into the car and drive home. For some, however, the day ends with a trip to the police station and a shoplifting charge.
If you have been charged with shoplifting in the state of Indiana, you are probably worried about how your life will be changed as a result of your arrest. In particular, you may be concerned about spending time in jail or getting a permanent criminal record.
Of course, before you can receive any of these punishments, the state must prove that you are guilty. As such, it is in your best interests to make it as difficult as possible for them to land a conviction. You can do just that by hiring an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer – like those at Suhre & Associates, LLC.
We are committed to working tirelessly on behalf of our clients. When you hire us to represent you in your shoplifting case, we will:
Guide You Through the Legal Process
The judicial system in Indiana can be incredibly confusing – and the prosecution is under no obligation to explain the process to you. If you want to make it through to the other side of your case as smoothly and seamlessly as possible, you will need the help of an experienced attorney.
Having worked within the system for years, our lawyers know where all of its trapdoors, shortcuts, and loopholes are. When you hire us, we will keep you up to date on the next steps in the process and inform you about any hazards you should watch out for along the way.
Negotiate with the Prosecuting Attorney
If the prosecuting attorney in your case offers you a plea bargain, they will most likely present it as a non-negotiable, take-it-or-leave-it deal. In reality, however, almost all plea bargains have at least a little room for improvement
The shoplifting defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC in Indianapolis have been negotiating with prosecutors for years. As your legal representatives, we will use this experience to try to get you the best possible deal.
Represent You in Court
If the prosecution is unwilling to offer a fair plea bargain, your shoplifting case will most likely end up going to court. The proceeding trial will determine both your guilt and your punishment. Given the enormity of the situation, you would be wise to have a skilled attorney represent you throughout.
Since our founding, our lawyers have represented countless theft and shoplifting defendants in court. As a result, we understand how to argue a case in a way that is compelling to the judge and jury. If your case goes to trial, we will do everything in our power to ensure that you get a fair hearing.
If you would like to have a Suhre & Associates, LLC defense attorney help you fight back against your shoplifting charge, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We will be happy to arrange a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case in greater detail.
Understanding Indiana Shoplifting Laws
The state of Indiana does not have a law that specifically addresses the crime of shoplifting. As a result, law enforcement will usually charge individuals who steal goods from a store with criminal conversion or felony theft. Before launching a defense against one of these charges, it is a good idea to learn a little more about them:
Section 35-43-4-3 of the Indiana Code states that an individual who is intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person may be charged with criminal conversion. This criminal offense is generally categorized as a Class A misdemeanor.
Criminal conversion can be bumped up to a Level 6 felony if:
- The offender acquires the property by lease
- The stolen item is a motor vehicle, or
- The offender signs an agreement to return the property and fails to do so in a timely manner.
Do not hesitate to call our skilled criminal defense lawyers if you are facing criminal conversion charges.
Section 35-43-4-2 of the Indiana Code explains that an individual who is intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive that person of the value of the item may be charged with felony theft. The classification of this criminal offense depends almost entirely on the value of the goods stolen:
- Less than $750: Class A misdemeanor
- $750 – $49,999: Level 6 felony
- More than $50,000: Level 5 felony
Whether you have been charged with criminal conversion or felony theft, the attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help you launch a strong defense. To set up an initial consultation with our team, just give our Indianapolis law office a call at any time.
Punishments for Indiana Shoplifting Convictions
In the state of Indiana, punishments for shoplifting offenses are highly dependent on the seriousness of the crime. Low-level crimes tend to receive much more lenient sentences than those that involve more expensive goods.
Generally speaking, anyone who is convicted of a shoplifting crime in Indiana can expect their punishment to fall within the following bounds:
Class A Misdemeanor
Individuals who are convicted of a Class A misdemeanor theft or criminal conversion offense may face a fine of up to $5,000. They may also be sentenced to as much as 1 year of jail time.
Level 6 Felony
People who are found guilty of committing a Level 6 felony in the state of Indiana will be imprisoned for between 6 months and 2.5 years. They may also be handed a fine of up to $10,000.
Level 5 Felony
In Indiana, Level 5 felonies are punishable by up to six years in state prison. Guilty parties may also face a fine of up to $10,000.
Pre-Trial Diversion Programs
In certain situations, first-time, low-level offenders may be able to avoid punishment for their shoplifting crime by entering into a pre-trial diversion program. These programs are designed to rehabilitate the offender without leaving them with a criminal record.
To complete their pre-trial diversion program, offenders will generally need to:
- Pay restitution to their victim
- Take part in a community service project
- Obtain medical treatment for their drug or alcohol addiction, and
- Pay a program fee.
Pre-trial diversion programs can take as little as 2 months or as long as a year. Once the program has been successfully completed, all charges against the offender will be dropped. As a result, their criminal record will remain clear.
The knowledgeable lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC have been helping the people of Indianapolis avoid and reduce punishments for years. If you would like us to do the same for you, please reach out to us as soon as possible to set up an initial consultation.
Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges in Indiana
When you are charged with shoplifting in Indiana, it can feel like a criminal conviction is almost inevitable. However, this is not necessarily true. With the right defense strategy, it may be possible to have your case thrown out or your charge reduced.
A brief list of some of the most effective defenses against shoplifting charges in the state of Indiana would include:
Lack of Intent
To successfully land a criminal conversion or felony theft conviction, the prosecution will need to show that you intentionally stole the item in question. Without intent, your actions are no longer a crime. They are merely an unfortunate mistake.
Proving that you did not intend to shoplift usually involves reviewing surveillance camera footage. If your attorney can find a clip that shows the item falling into your bag or being placed in your pocket by another person, your case should be dismissed fairly quickly.
If you were forced into shoplifting through violence or the threat of violence, you are unlikely to face any charges. In fact, if you can identify the individual who coerced you into stealing, you may be able to have them arrested and charged instead.
You will almost certainly find that the judge in your case will be more responsive to your coercion defense if you have evidence to support your claim. Medical reports and threatening text messages tend to be particularly compelling.
To be convicted of a theft-related offense, you must take an item without the consent of the owner. If the owner gave you permission to borrow or take the item, you did not commit a crime.
If you can show the court a consent-granting text or email from the owner, your case will most likely be thrown out immediately. If you do not have any written communication to present, witness testimony can also work.
If you would like to have the skilled legal team at Suhre & Associates, LLC review your case and come up with an effective defense strategy, all you need to do is give us a call and set up a free consultation.
Indianapolis Shoplifting Defense Lawyers You Can Count On
The experienced defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC have been helping Indianans fight back against their criminal charges for years. If you have been accused of shoplifting, and need our assistance to clear your name or reduce your punishment, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We will be happy to provide you with the legal advice and guidance you need.