A 32-year-old Upper Marlboro man was arrested this past week for shoplifting. According to reports, the man was seen by Wal-Mart employees attempting to walk-out of the store with a cart full of unpurchased goods. When confronted by employees, he ran. Police quickly caught up with man and placed him under arrest.
The 32-year-old was charged with theft less than $1,000 and theft between $1,000 and $10,000. In addition, the man was served with a no trespass notice by Wal-Mart after being suspected of a similar incident at another Wal-Mart. Though the charges are minor, these types of circumstances highlight the precariousness of a misdemeanor versus a felony charge.
While shoplifting a few items from a retail store generally does not warrant a felony, the precise scenario may expose a suspect to more serious charges. For instance, multiple offenses, failure to adhere to a store ban or other lawful order, evading law enforcement, the use of a weapon or other circumstances may turn a minor misdemeanor offense into a serious felony case.
Local Upper Marlboro criminal defense attorneys have defended suspects of accused of crimes which walk this line. These experts, though, are able to evaluate allegations and poke holes in the theories of the prosecution which would merit more serious charges. Most importantly, local criminal defense lawyers are able to engage in effective strategies, like plea negotiations, which reduce or eliminate felony charges.
The seriousness a felony has on one's record and future success means felony charges must be handled immediately. Addressing the elevated charge early on can be vital in avoiding a criminal prosecution, which could materially alter a suspect's life.
Source: Southern Maryland News Net, "Upper Marlboro Man Arrested For Shoplifting at Wal-Mart," Aug. 28, 2014