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Theft by Shoplifting - Could it happen to you?


It is lunchtime and you want to get some shopping done. Kohl's is having a sale and you have a $10.00 gift card to use. You figure what better way to spend the lunch break than to buy some goods. Unfortunately, there is a misunderstanding at the register and you're issued a court date notice and subpoena.

All too often, I have clients call me and say they were wrongfully arrested for shoplifting from Kohl's. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I do not. However, I have began to see a shift whereby Kohl's is making more arrests…many more arrests. About a third of the clients I received last month are, in my view, innocent. Either the wrong tag was on an item, or Kohl's thought the individual was trying to conceal an item, when they were not. Either way, getting arrested for shoplifting from Kohl's had a major effect on their lives.

First, Kohl's issued them a trespassing notice, which stated they would NEVER be allowed to return to Kohl's. There was no language in the notice conditioning it on whether or not they are acquitted or found guilty at trial. I find this tactic to be a slap in the face to the justice system, as everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Kohl's way of business is deplorable and archaic.

Next, they received a letter from a law firm in New York (The Law Offices of Michael Ira Asen, P.C. to be exact) requiring a payment of $150.00. And then another when they fail to make the payment within 21 days. I will reserve comment on Mr. Asen's letter for another blog post (hint: scam).

Finally, they had to go through the criminal justice process. Cases like theirs start off in the Municipal Court of Cumming, with the option of having a jury trial in Forsyth County State Court. Of course, this all depends on how much the items taken from Kohl's were worth. Anything over $500.00 in value is a felony; anything $500.00 or less is a misdemeanor. Their punishment can range from a simple fine to probation and possibly jail.

There are all kinds of ways to fight these charges. Richman Law Firm fights these charges everyday . If you are reading this and need help defending your shoplifting charges, please call us to find out how we can help you.
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