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Ogden Retail Theft Defense Attorney

Can I go to jail for shoplifting in Ogden?

Penalties for shoplifting in Ogden can include jail time, substantial fines, and a variety of probation conditions. The chance that you may go to jail will be significantly affected by the value of the property taken, your criminal record, and your individual history and circumstances. If you are facing prosecution in Ogden for retail theft, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be critical. Call us today to see how we can help you.

How much jail time is possible on a retail theft charge?

The maximum jail or prison penalty for shoplifting in an Ogden criminal case will depend on the level of the charge. A first-time shoplifting charge involving merchandise valued at less than $500 will normally be charged at the class B misdemeanor level. At that level, the maximum jail penalty for shoplifting is 180 days. As the value of the merchandise increases, or as the number of theft-related convictions on a person's criminal record increases, the penalties can increase to the class A misdemeanor (365 days maximum), third-degree felony (five years prison maximum), or second-degree felony level (fifteen years prison maximum). Jail or prison time on a retail shoplifting charge is not mandatory. The court can instead suspend the jail or prison term and place you on probation.

How can I avoid a conviction for retail theft in Ogden?

The first thing to remember when defending against a shoplifting charge in Ogden is that you are presumed innocent. This mean that until or unless the prosecution is able to produce evidence sufficient to convince a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty, you are entitled to a legal presumption of innocence. If you plead not-guilty, and if a jury is not convinced otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt, you are entitled to an acquittal and a dismissal of the case. In rare cases, evidence or information provided through defense counsel may even persuade a prosecutor to dismiss charges prior to trial.

While you have a right to a jury trial, you also have the opportunity to explore the possibility of a negotiated resolution. Negotiations with the prosecuting agency on a retail theft case can result in a variety of potential outcomes. A plea in abeyance offer can provide a more certain way to achieve a dismissal of the case, but the abeyance agreement requires the prosecutor's approval.

How can I improve my chances of staying out of jail in a shoplifting case?

If you anticipate working toward a negotiated resolution in your retail theft case, or if you find yourself facing a conviction and sentencing, one of the most important things you can do is to take steps to address what may be perceived to be the underlying "problems" that led to the shoplifting offense. For example, if you are stealing to support a drug addiction, then getting involved in drug treatment can significantly improve your chances of avoiding jail. If the shoplifting incident was the result of a temporary lapse in judgment, enrolling in a thinking errors class or "theft" class can help persuade a judge not to impose jail time.

Sentencing issues can be complex and understanding how best to present your defense at a sentencing hearing can vary significantly based on the nature of your case, your history, circumstances, etc. Having the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney is critical.

How do I find the best criminal attorney for my shoplifting case?

Utah Criminal Lawyer Salt LakeChoosing the right attorney for your case is perhaps the most important decision you will make. Experience, knowledge, skill, and personality are all important factors to consider as you make that decision. Aggressive defense has its place. But having a "bull in the china shop" mentality can backfire. Having a defense attorney who understands the difference between the time to fight and the time for diplomacy can help you achieve the results you need.

Contact us today to see how we can help you.


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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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