Interviewer: If I had a theft charge on my record, or a conviction, what would that prevent me from doing?
Kevin Roach: Having a theft charge on your record is probably one of the worst offenses you can have for finding a job. Employers, they hate it when someone has a stealing record, because employers, they don't want you to come and steal from them. A lot of jobs you're dealing with money, you may be a cashier, you may be a bookkeeper, you could come in contact with or have the opportunity to steal any number of ways. Having a conviction or even a guilty plea for stealing on your record could be very damaging for your future employment opportunities. In those cases we work really hard to try to keep that off the record, if there's not a strong case, we do everything we can to try to get it amended down or dismissed.
Potential Penalties Imposed In the Event of a Conviction for St. Louis Stealing Charges
Interviewer: What are some of the penalties here? What are some of the harsher penalties that someone might be facing? Would someone be facing prison time for a theft charge?
Kevin Roach: If you're charged with a felony stealing charge you can definitely do jail time. For instance, on a class D felony, that's stealing more than $25,000, you can do 5 to 15 years of jail on a class D felony. On a class C felony the punishment is less but on a class D felony, you can do up to 4 years and pay $5,000 fine. If you're charged with felony stealing it's definitely a legitimate concern that you could possibly go to jail, so it's important that you hire an attorney and put up a proper defense to keep you out of jail and hopefully keep that off your record.
Factors To Help Build A Viable Defense Against Theft Charges in Missouri
Interviewer: If someone's facing theft charges what would help that individual build a case?
Kevin Roach: One instance I can think of where it would help you is If you've passed a bad check, for instance, you wrote a bad check for some furniture, and you knew you were doing it, the best thing you could do is make good on that check and try to pay for the property you've already taken possession of. Because that is going to increase the likelihood that the prosecuting attorney could potentially drop the case or we could get it amended down to a lesser offense if you're good for the charge. So that's one thing, in that situation, you could definitely do that. Same goes for if you stole something from another store or business, try to, if you stole from your boss, in some scenarios you would want to pay that back.
For a Misdemeanor Offense It is Advisable to Reimburse the Victim to Facilitate a Favorable Resolution
There's a fine line there too because if there's an ongoing criminal investigation you don't want to make any admissions and impeach yourself. Felonies I would say is a little more touchy, but if you're dealing with misdemeanor, passing a bad check or stealing charge, I would think it would probably be a good thing to try to reimburse whoever the victim is as soon as possible. Another thing people can do, a lot of times I've had younger individuals do this, and it looks really good in the court, they can attend a theft offender or petty larceny program, it's just a class that you take, shows that, they counsel people on why you shouldn't steal and the ramifications of stealing and you get a certificate when you're done and I can take that in to the prosecutor, show it to the judge and once you show that the client has taken responsibility a lot of times they will dismiss the charges. So that's one thing you can do, when my clients come in for a consultation a lot of times I recommend that they attend a particular class or seminar.
Kevin J. roach is a St. Louis DWI defense attorney who has defended thousands of DWI and DUI cases in the St. Louis Metro area. Call us today at (636) 519-0085 or (866) 519-0085 for your Free Consultation!