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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Bucks County Shoplifting Defense Strategies

If you find yourself facing charges, contact a Bucks County shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible to begin plotting defense strategies. Such an attorney will be able to guide and advise you as you work to mitigate the damages and build the strongest defense possible. Bucks County shoplifting defense strategies can vary, and it is important to work with a skilled attorney while working to understand the best one for your case.

Potential Strategies

In most cases, shoplifting is considered an open and shut case. However, with the use of an experienced theft attorney in Bucks County, even the most common of offenses can be defended in a manner which can lead to an acquittal or a negotiation for a lesser charge that does not carry the same consequences as a theft or retail theft conviction. For example, should an individual be charged with retail theft, an experienced lawyer may obtain any video footage from a retail establishment, which is required under the best evidence rule, and challenge whether or not a security guard or employee saw an individual taking an item.

If the observations of the plaintiff are being made through a camera, the best evidence is the video obtained from the camera. Should that video no longer be available, it maybe grounds for dismissal under local statutes.

Additionally, should a person not have committed the crime and an error occurred or a receipt is available, all of those can be brought to the attention of a prosecutor and the court. With the right representation, these and other approaches could be applied with an eye toward dismissing the case or reducing the charges before the court even becomes involved in the process, thus reducing time, cost, and stress for the defendant.

Initial Steps

The initial steps a lawyer creating defense strategies in a Bucks County shoplifting case would take are to obtain all the details from the client as to what occurred. Then, using the experience in and knowledge of the local courts in Bucks County, the attorney will make a determination of whether or not the retail theft being charged is defensible at trial, as well as whether it ought to be reduced to some charge that does not have quite the negative impact that a theft conviction has.

Another step will involve deciding whether and how best to pursue a referral to a diversion program. It is essential that an attorney obtains the proper information from the client to determine whether this retail theft is a first, second, third, or regular offense. A person’s criminal history and background effects the charges and grading, and as such has a significant impact upon how a case is  defended.

Alternative Sentencing Options

Once contacted by a client, a lawyer conducts a thorough interview, reviews the details of the specific allegation, and applies the local law to the circumstances at hand. The attorney can then advise their client on how to proceed with the case.

Diversionary programs may be available for first-time offenders, so long as the value of the item or items in question  is less than $2,000. In some cases where the amount rises above $2,000, having the right lawyer can help a person persuade the prosecuting attorney and the court that the real value is in fact below the threshold. This can have long-term implications as it can often save a person from a conviction that would follow them for years to come.

The right lawyer at the right time can ensure that every diversionary program is being considered. And should a person not be eligible or approved for a diversionary program, then a possible sentence of probation or Section 145 restitution may yet be applied. In the most severe cases, they attempt to resolve a third, fourth or fifth retail theft, which would otherwise be charged as a felony of the third degree, working to reduce it to a misdemeanor or lower charge.

How An Attorney Can Help

Having an experienced Bucks County lawyer by your side will be invaluable as you decide how to best approach and build a defense. Such an attorney will be familiar with local law and the court system, thus extending to you that knowledge as you work to resolve the case in the most favorable way possible and use appropriate defense strategies to a Bucks County shoplifting charge.