With video and electronic surveillance growing more common throughout malls, department stores and shopping outlets, so too are Shoplifting and Larceny charges in Connecticut being prosecuted more frequently. There are six different degrees of Larceny in Connecticut and as the amount of alleged stolen goods or money increases, so does the severity of the charges and punishment. Larceny and Shoplifting charges are routinely charged by Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Wilton, Fairfield, Norwalk and New Canaan police departments and if not defended properly, the consequences of your case can lead to greater problems in the future.What Constitutes A Larceny?
Larceny is defined in Section 53a-119 of the Connecticut General Statutes. No matter what the degree, a common component of each of these crimes is the unauthorized taking of money, goods, or services with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of such money, goods and services. There are various types of Larceny including Extortion, Embezzlement, and Shoplifting, The degree of Larceny depends on the value of the money and goods stolen. To view the requirements for each Connecticut Larceny charge, click here.
In the context of Shoplifting, store security guards will usually observe a suspect attempting to steal items from their store. These guards—who are usually not police officers—will approach and confront the suspect and if they believe a crime has been committed, then they will attempt to detain the suspect until police arrive. Remember, generally, you are under no obligation to provide any information about the accusations to any security guard or law enforcement officer. You have the right to remain silent. And most importantly, you are entitled to call a Connecticut criminal lawyer and attorney. If the police have probable cause, then they will in fact arrest you, transport you to police headquarters, book and process you, set a bond, and give you a court date.Penalties for Larceny Crimes in Connecticut
As noted above, the penalties for committing Larceny are serious, ranging from up to 20 years in jail for felony First Degree Larceny charges, to minimal fines and probation. The primary concern for Connecticut Superior Court prosecutors in Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport who prosecute Larceny charges in Fairfield County is that the victim is paid back in full. This amount is called “restitution” and is a critical negotiating point in almost every Larceny case. Often the amount of restitution is a disputed issue and it is up to your Connecticut criminal defense attorney to negotiate and resolve the best restitution number for you in Superior Court. The criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law are skilled in defending Larceny cases and working with its clients, the alleged victims and the court system to negotiate a fair and reasonable restitution number.Fighting Shoplifting Charges in ConnecticutPreserving Electronic Evidence
The criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law regularly work with its Stamford, Greenwich and other Fairfield County clients in aggressively breaking down Larceny cases by conducting intensive forensic and electronic discovery and investigations. We routinely move the Court for permission to preserve electronic surveillance evidence that the police department will often not make the effort to secure and review. Such evidence includes digital security recordings, cell phone tower triangulation data, and outdoor public surveillance camera recordings. Electronic evidence like this media must be preserved before it disappears.
We believe in the presumption of innocence and appreciate the search for the whole truth. Accordingly, we carefully review each Larceny case and are not afraid to ruffle feathers of the police or accusers. While there are plenty of wealthy businesses and individuals in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Wilton, Fairfield, Norwalk and New Canaan who have accused people of Larceny, sometimes they get it wrong and implicate the wrong individuals. Thus, electronic evidence exists that will vindicate our clients, then the legal team at Mark Sherman Law will aggressively go after it.Diversionary Programs
In addition to taking Connecticut Larceny and Shoplifting cases to trial, the attorneys at Mark Sherman Law will explore alternatives to trial to get your Larceny and Shoplifting case dismissed. The Accelerated Rehabilitation program is one option whereby you can apply for the program, and if the Connecticut Superior Court in Norwalk, Stamford, or Bridgeport grants the program, and you comply with the Court’s conditions, then the Court will ultimately dismiss your case in its entirety. Entry into the Accelerated Rehabilitation program is not guaranteed so if you are interested in this program, contact an attorney at Mark Sherman Law.Persistent Larceny Offenders
One very serious possible consequence of a Larceny charge is pleading guilty to a Larceny charge when you have prior Larceny convictions. Connecticut lawmakers have enacted laws which provide enhanced sentencing and jail penalties for Persistent Larceny Offenders (PLOs). Thus, a guilty plea to stealing a toothbrush may not seem so serious on its face; however, with prior convictions, this guilty plea could render you a PLO and result in a lengthy jail and probation sentence. Therefore it is advisable to contact one of the Connecticut criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman law prior to pleading guilty to any Larceny or Shoplifting charge.Civil Consequences in Larceny & Shoplifting Cases
Finally, one additional headache that comes hand in hand with being accused of and arrested for Shoplifting is receiving a money demand or civil lawsuit from the accusing business for alleged costs incurred by the business for assisting the police with the prosecution of your case. This is an administrative cost allegedly incurred by the store for copying the video recording and providing it to the police. This demand notice or lawsuit can often be negotiated by your Connecticut criminal attorney so if you receive such a notice, contact a lawyer at Mark Sherman Law to discuss your options.Contact Us Today
If you have been arrested for Larceny or Shoplifting in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Wilton, Fairfield, Norwalk and New Canaan, please call an attorney at Mark Sherman Law to learn how we can help you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (203) 358-4700.Related Links: