Lowell Shoplifting Defense Attorney
Shoplifting can be one of the most commonly charged crimes in Massachusetts courts. It comes in many forms, from putting an item in a shopping cart and not paying for it, to putting merchandise in a purse or bag and leaving the store or even an act of compulsion of taking something and leaving a retailer. Shoplifting is not the same as stealing or larceny. There are all sorts of reasons why people could be charged with this crime. Having an experienced Lowell shoplifting defense attorney to assist in the preparation of your defense could be the difference between a conviction and a dismissed case.
Whether we are talking about one of the larger malls in the area and high-end items that are being taken, or necessities for a child with a family who doesn't have a lot of resources to support their children, shoplifting can be a crime that impacts all walks of life. Ryan Sullivan has represented dozens of people charged with shoplifting offenses that range from filling up a shopping cart full of goods from a Target store, to taking infant clothes from a department store at the Burlington Mall. These offenses are often brought both criminally by the police, as well as civil actions by the store involved – meaning the store is threatening a lawsuit.
If you were charged with shoplifting, you have two issues that you need to worry about. First is what will happen in your criminal case. Many of these cases involve clerks hearings that determine whether the charge should issue at all. Having a lawyer who has handled these magistrate hearings in the past may help convince the clerk and the police that the charges should not be issued. This will completely save your record from a charge even appearing, potentially impacting future employment or other consequences.
The other concern that a person charged with this crime needs to think about is the demand letters from the attorneys of the big retail companies. Many different department stores that have frequent allegations of shoplifting hire attorneys to send out civil demand letters that state if you make a payment, you will avoid a pending civil court case. It is important to remember that nothing in this website is designed to give legal advice, however Attorney Sullivan has recommended to several different clients to simply ignore these letters as they are a "Hail Mary" attempt to get money out of people charged with a crime. Obviously you want to speak with an attorney before making any decision or taking any action, but having a free consultation with an experienced shoplifting defense attorney can potentially save you money from the attempts by a store to squeeze money out of people caught in this unfortunate position.
The fact that these attempts do sometimes work demonstrates that this is truly not a crime of someone who does not have enough money to buy the product. Rather, this is a crime that can strike people all across Massachusetts dealing with the battle between abiding by the law and fighting back a compulsion to take something. Ryan Sullivan has seen that his clients charged with this offense are often in a state of crisis in their lives. Whether it was going through a divorce, struggling with substance abuse, or dealing with difficult financial issues, shoplifting can be a crime that is committed when people feel anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Making that argument to Assistant Clerk Magistrates and District Court Judges throughout Middlesex, Essex and Worcester Counties can allow for a client in this position to avoid convictions, fines, or even in extreme cases, jail time. For an example of one such extreme case that had a positive outcome, see this case in the notable results section.
If you or a family member is charged with shoplifting, contact Ryan Sullivan to discuss your case, your strategy, and the possible outcome of your case today. Call, text, or send us an email at any time. All initial consultations are free, you will get no hard-selling technique, and he can point you in the right direction towards achieving the best result possible for your case.