Upper Marlboro residents are checking their pockets and purses more often these days as reports of thieves spread. A local couple was arrested just this past week after police warned the public that a Bonnie and Clyde team was stealing wallets at local shopping establishments. The couple was found with over $50,000 in merchandise, all suspected to have been purchased with stolen credit cards.
Now the couple is being charged with multiple counts of theft, which may be upgraded to felonies depending upon the circumstances. The couple may be in especially hot water as similar thefts were reported in Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and North Carolina.
Being arrested and blamed for other crimes is nothing new. Prosecutors and law enforcement personnel sometimes will try and pin additional crimes on those caught doing something similar.
Felony charges can have very serious consequences if one is convicted, including prison time, large fines, and loss of civil rights. Therefore, the accused are strongly urged to take steps to ensure their legal rights are protected. Professionals can force prosecutors to focus only on the charges they can prove. This can be vital in plea negotiation and avoiding additional charges and/or felony charges which come with much stiffer penalties.
One mistake should not be enough for law enforcement to pin serial crimes on a first time offender. But, without proper legal representation, a person facing a criminal charge may be accused of a lot more. A person accused of a felony should be prepared to mount a strong defense. A strong defense may include review of police procedure, presentation of evidence of innocence, negotiation with the prosecution and strong representation in any court hearings or proceedings.
Source: Upper Marlboro Patch, "Upper Marlboro Couple Charged With Theft," Michael Theis, August 7, 2013