If you're facing shoplifting charges in Rhode Island, you need an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer on your side. At the Marin and Barrett, Inc. Law Firm, we focus on providing legal representation for shoplifting charges, including misdemeanor and felony shoplifting charges. With years of experience and a deep understanding of Rhode Island's criminal justice system, we are committed to fighting for your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case. Shoplifting in Rhode Island comes with some serious fines and penalties. Let a professional defend you. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your legal options.
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Attorney Kensley Barrett
No matter where you live, shoplifting, or petty theft, is a crime that is taken very seriously. In the State of Rhode Island, shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor crime. The act of shoplifting includes stealing items, altering the price tags on store items, removing shopping carts beyond their permitted areas, and any kind of criminal activity that involves the intent to take from a merchant. These are just a few examples, but if you have committed any one of these acts, you can be charged with shoplifting.
Penalties for Shoplifting in Rhode Island
As a misdemeanor crime, shoplifting comes with some hefty consequences. If you are convicted, you face expensive fines and could even serve time in jail as a result. When it comes to fines for first time offenses, you will likely pay anywhere between $50 or two times the full retail value of the merchandise that was stolen, whichever is the greater amount. In most cases, your fine will not be more than $500. You may also serve up to one year in jail in addition to paying those fines.
However, if the stolen merchandise retailed for over $100 and you have previously been convicted of shoplifting, the consequences are even greater. You will be charged with a felony and could have to pay up to $5,000 in fines. Imprisonment of up to five years is also an option as punishment for the crime. The state of Rhode Island does not take these charges lightly.
It's also possible that you may be sued by the victim, as they are entitled to money damages up to the retail value of the merchandise that was stolen. When all is said and done, shoplifting is a very expensive crime if convicted.
Rhode Island Shoplifting Legal Process
The legal and court case process for a shoplifting case in Rhode Island typically involves the following steps:
Arrest: When a person is suspected of shoplifting, they may be arrested by the police, either at the scene or on a warrant after the fact. The person will be taken into custody and typically read their Miranda rights.
Arraignment: The accused will appear before a judge to be formally charged with shoplifting. At this stage, they will have the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendre. If the person pleads guilty or nolo contendre, the judge may proceed directly to sentencing. If the person pleads not guilty, the case will move to the pre-trial stage.
Pre-Trial: During the pre-trial stage, both the prosecution and the defense will gather evidence and prepare their case. The defense may file motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the case, and the prosecution may make plea offers. If the case does not resolve through a plea deal, it will proceed to trial.
Trial: At trial, the prosecution will present evidence and witnesses to prove that the accused committed shoplifting. The defense will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and present their own evidence and witnesses to refute the prosecution's case. The judge or jury will then decide if the accused is guilty or not guilty.
Sentencing: If the accused is found guilty, they will be sentenced by the judge. The sentence may include fines, probation, community service, or jail time, depending on the severity of the offense and the defendant's criminal history.
Experienced Defense Attorneys for Rhode Island Shoplifting Charges
If you or someone you know has been accused of shoplifting, the best thing you can do is to contact a lawyer immediately. Trying to take on these charges alone will not yield the best results in court. Instead, you need a capable and competent lawyer by your side to fight for your rights and work to keep you out of jail. The help of lawyer could mean lesser consequences for you. For these reasons, it's best to get a lawyer involved in your case as soon as possible so he or she can begin working on a plan to tackle your case.
Kensley Barrett is a top Rhode Island shoplifting defense lawyer and will work to put together a strong defensive strategy for your case. He'll investigate your unique case to figure out the best plan of action, including raising defenses, diversion programs, and plea bargaining. With years of experience as a defense attorney, you'll want him by your side in the courtroom.
If you're interested in speaking to Kensley Barrett one-on-one about your case, you can schedule a free consultation to discuss your options. This is a no-obligation consultation, which means you aren't required to hire him after the meeting. He'll discuss your options with you so you will know exactly what to expect moving forward with these shoplifting charges.
To schedule your free consultation, contact our office today. There's no time to waste, so act now to get strong attorney involved in your case. It just might be the difference in whether or not you spend time in jail.