TO SCAN OR NOT TO SCAN, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Aiken and O’Halloran SW Fla Criminal Defense Offices: Sarasota 941-366-3506 Ft Myers 239-334-8890 Punta Gorda 941-366-3506 Cape Coral 239-334-8890

HAVE YOU BEEN ARRESTED FOR PETIT THEFT OR GIVEN A CITATION FOR SHOPLIFTING WHERE THE SCANNER AT THE STORE DID NOT PICK UP THE ITEM?

JUNE 10 2020

No, that is not a quote from Hamlet but it is a question some people ask themselves dozens of times standing in the self checkout lines at Walmart and other stores.  With the Covid crisis and the joblessness, more and more people out of necessity are being charged with petit theft in Bradenton or sometimes grand theft in Sarasota or Lee county for not scanning all of their items in the self checkout line.

As a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, I have seen several recent cases where people either get arrested or get a notice to appear in Court for not scanning all of their items.  This is often an impulse crime.  Sometimes, it is an actual mistake innocently made.

A petit theft charge in Sarasota Bradenton or Fort Myers, even though it is only a misdemeanor, can come back to haunt you later in life.  An employer, checking your record will find it and move on to someone else who does not have a record.  People on dating sites, now often check a person’s record, before going on a date or beginning a relationship.  For sure, potential employers will check public arrest records.  If you were an employer and had two candidates for a job, and one of them had an arrest for theft, which one would you pick.  You would never get a job handling money. As a Sarasota criminal petit theft defense attorney I handle cases like this all the time.   There are ways to avoid having a record.  Many times I have been able to get cases dropped and expunged by getting a client enrolled in a “diversion program”.  Many times I have been able to get what is known as a “withheld adjudication” which means no “conviction” and no record.  The little bit of money you spend on a defense attorney or defense lawyer may save you tons in the future