Shoplifting / Theft
Being accused of a theft or shoplifting charge can be a traumatic experience. You’ve been embarrassed by store employees, and arrested by the police or given a summons to criminal court. Criminal charges are a very stressful thing for anyone to go through.
During this time, you want to be certain that you have chosen an attorney who knows the local court system, Kansas law, and has dealt with cases like yours before.
I have spent years defending cases in Johnson County and throughout Kansas City. I know the local courts and know exactly what to expect. I have successfully handled many shoplifting and theft cases and, while all cases are different, I have almost certainly handled many cases very similar to yours.
The majority of my theft and shoplifting clients tell me they made a mistake. They are filled with regret and embarrassment and wish they could undo the act that got them to where they are. While we can’t turn back the clock, I may be able to help you get a favorable outcome in court.
Whether you made a mistake you now regret or especially if it is the police that made the mistake and you did not do anything wrong, there are several defense strategies we can examine. You can absolutely be charged by mistake, whether it was a misunderstanding, or you happened to be with someone who stole something, but had nothing to do with it.
Whatever you situation, I can make a difference. We will find the perfect approach for your case to fit your needs.
Successful Shoplifting Defenses in Kansas
Having handled numerous shoplifting and theft cases I know the Kansas laws surrounding these criminal charges. Whether you are facing misdemeanor shoplifting charges or felony boosting charges, I can help.
In the past I have been able to negotiate situations so that a criminal charge doesn’t appear on my client’s record and even been able to help clients through a case without them setting foot in a courtroom. Imagine handling your case without the headache of going to court; in some situations this is possible.
Did Your Actions Constitute Theft?
There are several situations that can be considered theft under Kansas law. Any of the following circumstances could get you charged with theft and facing serious consequences.
- Taking control of someone else’s property (this includes shoplifting),
- Obtaining someone’s property by deception,
- Obtaining someone’s property by threat, or
- Obtaining property that you know to be stolen.
The prosecution must have probable cause that you committed one of those actions and then theft charges can be filed. The potential charge and penalty you face is depende9nt on the value of the stolen property.
Kansas Penalties for Theft(Shoplifting) Conviction
|Value of Property||Charge||Potential Penalty|
|Under $1,000||Class A misdemeanor||Up to 1 year in jail and $2,500 fines|
|$1,000 – $25,000||Level 9 felony||5-17 months (typical 6 month sentence with no prior convictions)|
|$25,001 – $100,000||Level 7 felony||11-34 months (typical 12 month sentence with no prior convictions)|
|More than $100,000||Level 5 felony||31-136 months (typical 32 month sentence with no prior convictions)|
All theft charges are considered non-person criminal offenses.
Ref: KSA 21-3701
The potential penalties you may face for a shoplifting/theft conviction are quite wide. The range a judge is given to sentence you within is so they can consider your specific situation, the circumstances of your offense, and any prior criminal history.
If this is a first offense criminal charge I may be able to help you get probation in lieu of an active sentence. Each case is different and a personalized consultation is needed before I can say with certainty how I might be able to help.
It is important to remember that when facing a theft charge, the person or business that is considered the victim can also file civil suit against you in order to get compensated for their loss.
Additional Kansas Theft Charges
If you are charged with theft from 3 or more states within a 72 hour period, you could be charged with the offense of Boosting. Boosting is a Level 9 non-person felony that carries a potential 5-17 month prison sentence.
Ref: KSA 21-3701
Theft of Services
Stealing services like cable, lodging, utilities, or entertainment could get you charged with theft of services, a serious offense. Like many other theft offenses, the penalty you face for this depends on the value of property stolen. See the chart above for more information about the potential penalty you may encounter.
Ref: KSA 21-3704
Theft of Mislaid Property
If you come across property that was likely lost or mislaid by its rightful owner and you don’t make any attempts to return it, you could face this Class A misdemeanor. Under Kansas law, Theft of mislaid property carries a potential $2,500 fine and 1 year in jail.
Ref: KSA 21-3703
Free Consultation on Kansas City Shoplifting/Theft Offenses
Facing prison time for a theft or shoplifting charge in Kansas is very serious. When you are under extreme stress like this you need someone to help make sense of it all and to ensure your rights are protected to the fullest extent. Give me a call now to see how I can help you with your case. I am interested in hearing the details and helping you get the best results possible.