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Felony Shoplifting in Missouri: How it Will Change Your Life

Being charged with Springfield felony shoplifting can be a frightening experience. Anytime you enter the court system can be stressful, especially if you have never been around it. If you are caught shoplifting, you should expect certain consequences after being charged. If you need assistance after being charged with a felony, contact Missouri Legal. Before jumping into the penalties that follow felony shoplifting in Springfield, you need to understand what shoplifting is in Missouri.

Shoplifting is defined as, “Stealing occurs when a person appropriates someone else’s property or services without their consent or through deception or coercion and with the purpose of depriving the owner of the property or services.” Sec. 570.030. Essentially, shoplifting occurs when someone takes property from a store with the intent to keep that property. Taking anything that is not yours can lead to a theft charge.

After being charged with this crime, you may have a bench trial (with the judge) or a jury trial. Here, your guilt will be decided. Later, if there is imprisonment, you will have a sentencing proceeding that will detail how long you will be incarcerated. Felony shoplifting in Springfield is a serious charge that can bring with it harsh penalties. Misdemeanor shoplifting in Springfield is still a serious crime but not as serious as a felony. Misdemeanors typically come with lower fines and time for imprisonment. On the other hand, felonies can have hefty fines and long periods of imprisonment.

Penalties that follow Felony and Misdemeanor Shoplifting in Springfield

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Specifically, the penalties that will follow a felony shoplifting charge will be the following:

  • Class A felony: imprisonment for 10 to 30 years, or life.
  • Class B felony: imprisonment for 5 for 15 years.
  • Class C felony: imprisonment for 3 to 10 years and/or fines up to $10,000.
  • Class D felony: imprisonment for up to 7 years and/or fines of up to $10,000.
  • Class E felony: imprisonment for up to 4 years and/or fines of up to $10,000.

As you can see, depending on the circumstances that surround the felony, such as the property stolen, you may find yourself behind bars for many years. Circumstances like a gun being involved or stealing a certain item will present the harshest penalties.

Contrasting this with a misdemeanor shoplifting in Springfield, you will find that the penalties are not as severe. Misdemeanors will have penalties that include imprisonment for less than a year and fine below $2,000. Either penalty can have a major effect on your life.

How Can A Felony Shoplifting Charge Affect Your Life?

A felony charge can change your life forever. Something that you at first thought was funny or a joke can lead to your life being turned upside down. Just taking a certain piece of property can land you in prison for 10 years. Imagine how your life would change after being charged with felony shoplifting in Springfield. You would not be around your family for years and life would go on without you. The fines and imprisonment terms are scary enough, but what will happen after you are placed back into society?

One of the hardest punishments may be trying to get back into society. Every time you go to apply for a job the employer will run a background check. These background checks can prevent you from finding a job or at least make it extremely difficult. However, sometimes mistakes are made and you have to live with the consequences. You should not feel discouraged by the difficulty of finding a job with a felony on your record.

There are ways to find a job with a felony record. You can start your own business, do research to know which companies would hire you, or continue with your education. All hope is not lost, even though the road you will have to travel will be more difficult. Contact Missouri Legal before proceeding in your case. Using them, in the beginning, can pay dividends. Getting good legal counsel when you are first charged can help you in dealing with the consequences of a felony shoplifting in Springfield. Don’t leave your future to chance. Make sure that you get the best legal counsel that you can afford.

How Can An Attorney help?

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Experienced attorneys can help you with any felony charges. When you hire an experienced attorney, you will get wisdom and counsel that will help you make the right decisions during your case. They have spent years becoming familiar with the law. They have attended law school, passed the bar, and assisted clients in shoplifting charges. Having someone that has seen how a shoplifting charge plays out in court, is priceless. The difference between having an experienced attorney and not having one could determine whether or not you spend years in prison.

Aside from the years of experience and knowledge they bring to the table, they can also help you feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. The court setting can be intimidating so having someone standing by your side and advocating for you is a big deal. They can guide you through the process so that you are heard. Every now and then individuals decide to proceed through the system pro se, which is without an attorney. This can be a grave mistake. Attorneys are trained to not only understand the law but to apply the law to your specific set of circumstances surrounding your crime. This is how they can create arguments that will benefit you by comparing the facts with the law.   

Overall, it is a wise decision to seek an attorney that is experienced in shoplifting cases. An attorney will help you through every step of the process. They may be able to help you get a lesser sentence by negotiating with the prosecution. A lot of deals are created due to negotiations that lead to both sides feeling okay about the situation.

Without an attorney, the judge will most likely throw the book at you and you will be faced with the harshest punishment. Make sure that when you face the consequences of shoplifting that you have an experienced attorney on your side that cares for your well-being and freedom. Finding comfort in this situation is not easy. But there will be some comfort offered by an experienced attorney. Going into any new place with someone that has been there before can give you confidence. If you are being charged with shoplifting, whether a misdemeanor or felony, make sure that you find the right attorney for you.