Being arrested on suspicion of shoplifting is a serious matter. If you’re convicted of shoplifting in California, you can face severe consequences, including hefty fines and jail time. That’s why it’s crucial that you know what to do if you’re charged with shoplifting. It could mean the difference between having the charges against you dismissed and spending time behind bars.
Steps to Take After Being Arrested on Suspicion of Shoplifting in California
It's important to know what steps you should take after being arrested for shoplifting in California to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome for your case. The following are four steps you should take if you’re charged with shoplifting in California:
- The first step is to remain silent. You have the right to remain silent, which means you do not have to answer any questions from the police or anyone else without a lawyer present. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so it's best to stay quiet and wait for legal counsel or contact an attorney as soon as possible.
- The second step is to cooperate with law enforcement while following their instructions closely. They may ask that you empty your pockets, backpack, or purse – comply with their requests unless they are making unreasonable demands. Additionally, refrain from resisting arrest even though this may be tempting – doing so will not help your situation and could lead to additional charges against you.
- The third step is to gather evidence that proves your innocence if possible. This includes receipts, eyewitness accounts, surveillance camera footage, or other related documents that can support your claims of innocence in court. Be sure to keep copies of this evidence safe so that it’s available when needed later in the process.
- Finally, contact a criminal defense attorney who specializes in shoplifting cases to help guide you through the legal process and represent your interests in court if necessary. A good attorney will use their experience and knowledge of the law to effectively navigate the judicial system and pursue the most beneficial outcome for your case.
For more information about what to do if you’re arrested for shoplifting in California, or to discuss your situation with our experienced theft crimes defense lawyers in Santa Barbara, give Appel & Morse a call at (805) 467-6060 or contact us online today for a free consultation.