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Denver CO Shoplifting / Retail Theft Lawyer

A Denver Shoplifting Charge Demands an Aggressive Defense

Maybe you were out shopping with your children at the 16th Street Mall and they stuffed things into your purse without your knowledge. Or there were no carts available and your hands were full, so you put something you intended to buy in your backpack and forgot about it when checking out. Or perhaps you had a moment of weakness and took something when you knew you shouldn’t.

There are many reasons why someone in Denver and other areas of Colorado might be charged with shoplifting, and it’s something that the state and retailers take very seriously. It’s hard to fault them for this. After all, retail theft costs businesses more than $13 billion every year.

Because of this, when someone is allegedly caught shoplifting, more and more stores are deciding to prosecute. Despite the embarrassment, you may think that this is no big deal. After all, you’re clearly innocent, and the truth is bound to come out, right? Unfortunately, sitting back and hoping for the best doesn’t mean that justice will be served. Many overzealous prosecutors and judges are looking to make an example out of someone, and if you’re not able to put together a strong defense, you could find yourself dealing with serious penalties.

So how do you craft that strong defense strategy? You go to an experienced professional with a track record of success. Criminal defense attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a native Coloradan whose dedication, expansive knowledge, and winning ways have earned him the respect of both his peers and his clients, as well as numerous awards. He has been able to get positive outcomes for many clients facing shoplifting charges, and his first goal is always to try to get a dismissal.

How Retail Theft in Denver Is Charged

If you are charged with shoplifting in Colorado, you will be charged with theft. But whereas theft can be defined by as serious a charge as a Class 2 felony, those facing retail theft charges will most likely be dealing with a misdemeanor of some sort – depending on the value of the items in question. However, it is possible to receive a felony charge in certain situations. And even if your charge is something “minor,” that doesn’t mean you should take it lightly – jail time can be an included punishment for any level of retail theft charge if specific requirements are met.

Here is how the state breaks down shoplifting charges and penalties:

Value Under $500. This type of retail theft is defined as a Class 2 misdemeanor. Associated penalties include reimbursement to the store for the value of the item, additional fees of up to $250, and either:

  • Probation that includes a work release sentence of up to 2 years or a jail sentence of up to 60 days, or
  • A county jail sentence of up to 1 year.

Value Between $500 and $999. This amount is defined as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Associated penalties include reimbursement to the store for the value of the item, additional fees of up to $250, and either:

  • Probation that includes a work release sentence of up to 2 years or a jail sentence of up to 60 days, or
  • A county jail sentence of up to 18 months.

Value Over $1,000. This amount is defined as a Class 4 felony. Associated penalties include reimbursement to the store for the value of the item, additional store fees of up to $250, fines from $2,000-$500,000, and a possibility of between 2 and 6 years in prison.

Beyond these punishments, retail theft is a criminal charge, which means that it will be on your record forever. A criminal record is no minor thing, and can negatively impact your ability to get into a good college, find employment, join the military, apply for loans or scholarships, and even secure housing. In short, it is something that will forever impact your life and make things more difficult for you. Even worse, records in Colorado can only be sealed or expunged in certain specific cases.

Make Denver Prosecutors Work Hard to Convict You of Shoplifting

With businesses and prosecutors going out of their way these days to catch and punish alleged shoplifters, it is not uncommon for someone to overstep their bounds and violate a suspect’s rights or even wrongfully accuse people. Because of this, you need to present a defense that makes them prove every single thing that is required under Colorado law.

There are six very specific elements the prosecutor needs to show to win the case against an alleged shoplifter:

  1. He or she was witnessed approaching the item in question.
  2. He or she physically handled the item in question.
  3. He or she carried the item in question away and/or concealed it.
  4. He or she was continuously seen by a staff member or other witness from the time you approached the item in question until you left the store without paying for it.
  5. He or she did, in fact, neglect to pay for the item in question.
  6. He or she was approached outside of the store by the store clerk.

If you choose Jacob E. Martinez to represent you in your retail theft case, he will systematically look into each and every one of these six elements and try to find ways to poke holes in the prosecution’s story. All you need to weaken their position and get the charges against you reduced or even dropped completely is to call just one of the six elements into question.

Jacob E. Martinez Provides Compassionate Counsel and Aggressive Defense

Finding yourself suddenly charged with shoplifting can fill you with all kinds of emotions – fear, anger, embarrassment, and more. You may find that many people around you seem to judge you, but you will never feel this from Jacob E. Martinez. Attorney Martinez knows that there are all kinds of reasons why someone might engage in retail theft, and he strongly believes that everyone deserves to have the best possible defense and see that their rights are protected.

To give yourself the best possible outcome, it is vital that you seek counsel as soon as you can to start building your defense and avoid providing the prosecution with any evidence that they can use to improve their case against you. Begin today by contacting our offices for a free consultation. Fill out our free online course evaluation form or call 720.246.6700.

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