Potential Consequences of Shoplifting Charges
Before addressing the potential incarceratory (jail), fine, probation or community service consequences of a conviction for a shoplifting crime such as Petit Larceny (NY PL 155.25) or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree (NY PL 165.40), there is "homework" you need to do with your New York criminal lawyer and shoplifting defense attorney. For example, are you a teacher, MTA worker or an employee of the City of New York? Alternatively, are you a physician, financial services employee or even an engineer? Does the term of your contract, agreement with your employer or licensing require that you disclose an arrest? If so, does this shoplifting Desk Appearance Ticket constitute an "arrest" for that purpose? Assuming it is, will you need your Desk Appearance Ticket attorney or New York City criminal lawyer to be a liaison between you and your employer to answer his or her questions or explain the process and potential outcomes? If not, will the attorney you retain be able to explain the process and potential criminal outcomes in depth to you so you can answer your employer's questions? Even if you are under no duty to report this arrest and want to keep it as quiet as possible, what steps should you take to keep this from becoming public? How should you answer questions should your employer find out that you received a Desk Appearance Ticket in New York or you were arrested for shoplifting? Even more concerning, what will happen in two, five or ten years from now? Who will you turn to then?
Another issue you may want to address with your New York criminal lawyer is as follows: What if your New York shoplifting defense attorney is successful in avoiding a criminal conviction for Petit Larceny (New York PL 155.25) or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree (New York PL 165.40)? What, if anything, must you disclose on your employment application if asked about a conviction? If you are a professional in New York who is certified in any capacity by the state, not only should you ask these questions, but inquire about the Office of the Professions and if information there can assist you in determining what type of offer or plea you can accept should you even want to resolve the case in such a manner?
The New York criminal defense attorneys who served as Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law have represented doctors, lawyers, teachers, individuals employed in finance and both graduate and undergraduate students accused of shoplifting. All of these people have had both similar as well as different practical concerns as a result of their shoplifting arrest and Desk Appearance Ticket in New York City. Put yourself in the right place to not only protect your rights, but to protect your future.Collateral Consequences: Immigration and Travel Issues for Non-Citizens
Unfortunately, whether you have a student VISA, a green card or you are in the midst of your application for citizenship, a shoplifting Desk Appearance Ticket in New York charging either Petit Larceny, Grand Larceny or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property cannot be ignored. In fact, the United States Federal government will do anything but that.
Although an immigration attorney should be consulted, generally, if you are convicted of certain crimes involving "moral turpitude," then you may face a grim reality that your VISA may not be extended, your citizenship application may be held up or denied or, even worse, you will be deported from the United States.
Whether or not you are ultimately convicted, many foreign nationals have travel plans to their home countries that were arranged well before any shoplifting arrest or issuance of a shoplifting Desk Appearance Ticket in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan or anywhere in the New York City area. Maybe it is a wedding or you have work responsibilities that will take you abroad. What will happen when you re-enter into the United States? What if your VISA expires after the date you are required to appear in court? How will you stay or come back to fight the case? For that matter, will you be permitted to leave and come freely into the United States? Make no mistake, if you do not appear in court on the date you are required, a warrant will be issued by a judge for your arrest.
The New York criminal defense attorneys and Desk Appearance Ticket lawyers at Saland Law have addressed these issues and have represented countless foreign clients in the past. Our New York shoplifting lawyers routinely go a step further beyond criminal representation and provide letters and documentation for clients who seek extra "security" while traveling in the event they are questioned about their pending criminal case. While such a letter will not prevent the United States government from taking appropriate steps, if nothing else, many foreign clients feel more secure having some formal letter or documentation outlining their case. Additionally, the attorneys at Saland Law have serviced or offered their services to foreign nationals through Consulate General Offices in connection to criminal arrests and Desk Appearance Tickets in New York.What Records, if any, are Preserved if You Avoid a Conviction
Obviously, if there is a shoplifting conviction for Petit Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.25) or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property (New York Penal Law 165.40) anywhere in New York City, that conviction unquestionably will have tremendous consequences on your life and your livelihood. Beyond the embarrassment of having the charge on your record, you may also lose your job or have trouble attaining employment in the future because of the conviction. Even if you plead down to a violation like Disorderly Conduct (New York Penal Law 240.20) the arrest may still turn up in a future background check. In fact, although only a violation and not a criminal conviction, there has been at least one highly publicized lawsuit where a young man sued after his prior violation (that should have been sealed) was revealed to an employer who then did not hire him. While this may be one of the worst case scenarios, the criminal defense attorneys at Saland Law routinely get phone calls or email inquiries from individuals who pleaded to non-criminal violations years ago only to find them "popping up" today. Obviously, a teacher, lawyer, doctor, financial services employee or any type of professional business person can re-live the nightmare of a Desk Appearance Ticket or shoplifting arrest in New York for years if the proper steps are not taken to resolve the criminal allegations properly. If it is attainable, discuss the Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal with your attorney and how such a disposition, according to New York State law, may make your arrest a "nullity."
When ascertaining how to defend against your shoplifting arrest or Desk Appearance Ticket in New York, the above questions are critical not only to ask, but to have the proper and correct answers. Armed with this, you and your counsel can make the appropriate decisions on how to defend against the allegations or resolve the criminal action in a manner that will best protect and preserve your future in terms of your criminal record and livelihood.
Our law firm serves clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Westchester County. Call us at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today to speak with our New York attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors about misdemeanor shoplifting crimes.
In depth information on shoplifting crimes, statutes and laws is located on Saland Law's New York Criminal Lawyer Blog and its shoplifting crime section.