Navigating Theft Crime Charges: Why an Experienced Theft Crime Lawyer in Rochester is Essential

Navigating Theft Crime Charges: Why an Experienced Theft Crime Lawyer in Rochester is Essential

Regarding direct consequences, theft crime charges often don’t seem serious. Prosecutors, who often see retail theft as a civil matter, rarely aggressively pursue these matters. However, indirect consequences are different.

Theft is a crime involving moral turpitude.[1] For example, a CIMT conviction usually has immigration consequences. Such a conviction often also means ineligibility for a professional license, like a law or medical license. Social and other employment consequences are informal but just as real.

Theft crime charges adversely impact your life long after probation, and any other direct penalties are forgotten. Somewhat similarly, the criminal justice process is usually very long. An experienced criminal defense attorney doesn’t swoop in at the last moment to save the day. Instead, an attorney works hard for months to obtain a successful outcome in a theft case.

Jail Release

Legal advocacy begins before a theft case goes to court. Immediate jail release (or bail) sets the stage for a successful defense.

In Monroe County, OR (own recognizance), the release is usually available if the defendant faces nonviolent criminal charges and has an otherwise clean police record. The phrase “own recognizance” is a bit deceptive. These defendants must still follow some rules. But for the most part, defendants police themselves until their cases are resolved.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys informally advocate for defendants at this stage. For example, if Ben has a five-year-old drug possession conviction, the local Pretrial Release Board immediately puts his application in the “no” pile. An attorney often convinces the Board to put Ben’s application in the “maybe” pile.

Furthermore, the wheels of justice turn very slowly at this stage. Many defendants wait several days for PRB approval. An experienced criminal defense attorney works the system and hastens the approval process.

Most criminal defense lawyers don’t have these skills. For example, instead of taking a few cases on the side, a lawyer must be dedicated to criminal law. Only lawyers with this level of commitment know inside pathways and know how to build a defense. More on that below.

Incarcerated persons are in no position to look for attorneys. If you do that looking now, you’ll have an experienced theft crime lawyer with knowledge of criminal defense in your shopping cart when and if that lawyer is needed.

Theft Crime Defense Strategies

The criminal defense process begins in earnest once the defendant is out of jail. Procedural and substantive defenses are usually available in theft cases.

Mall cops and other private security officers have broad interrogation powers. But police interrogation powers are much more limited. If police officers ask Ben any questions, even something innocuous like “Why did you come to Macy’s today,” without informing Ben of his Constitutional rights, the judge could exclude any evidence, including a confession, that police officers subsequently obtain.

Substantive defenses, mainly a lack of evidence, are even more effective in theft crime cases. Usually, a qualified witness, typically a mall cop, must appear in court and testify that the defendant took property s/he didn’t own. This witness must be convincing enough to sway jurors.

For this reason, an experienced theft crime lawyer often delays the case as long as possible. The private security turnover rate is about 300 percent.[2] So, the prosecutor’s key witness is usually long gone after six or eight months.

Additionally, as mentioned, the witness must provide compelling testimony. Unlike police officers, mall cops aren’t professional witnesses. Many of these individuals have never testified in court before. If an attorney slightly erodes the witness’ credibility, the state probably won’t have enough proof to establish guilt beyond any reasonable doubt.

Resolving the Case With an Experienced Theft Crime Lawyer

Theft cases are very labor intensive. Prosecutors cannot simply pick up the phone and get a witness into court. They must locate the security guard or other witness, interview the person, coach the witness, subpoena the witness, and hope s/he appears.

Many prosecutors would much rather offer pretrial diversion than put forth all this effort. That’s especially true if the owner didn’t lose the property, insurance covered the loss, or the defendant voluntarily paid restitution.

Pretrial diversion programs vary in different courts. Usually, if the defendant stays out of trouble for a few months and jumps through some hoops, such as performing community service, prosecutors dismiss the case. A dismissal means no conviction record.

Everything works together in criminal defense. Prosecutors are likelier to offer pretrial diversion if an attorney has successfully delayed the case or built a solid defense.

Theft convictions have long-term, serious consequences. Contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi for a free consultation with an experienced Rochester traffic violation attorney. Convenient payment plans are available.






Uncovering the Truth: How a White-Collar Crime Lawyer in Rochester Protects Your Reputation

Uncovering the Truth: How a White-Collar Crime Lawyer in Rochester Protects Your Reputation

A generation ago, to most prosecutors, embezzlement, bribery, and other white-collar crimes were enhanced theft crimes and crimes of opportunity. Most nonlawyers shared that viewpoint. Large financial crimes, like Enron and Bernie Madoff, changed the environment. Now, white-collar criminal sentences are twice as long as they were in 1996.[1] Furthermore, many nonlawyers believe that white-collar criminals are “bad eggs” who are likely to commit more crimes, even violent crimes, in the future.[2}

In other words, today’s white-collar criminal defendants often pay much stiffer penalties and lose the professional or personal reputation they spent years building.

So, in a white-collar criminal case, a Rochester white-collar crime defense lawyer often fights battles on two fronts: outside and inside the courtroom. Regardless of the battlefield, the will to win and the tools to win are always the keys to victory. A compassionate attorney understands the true consequences of a white-collar crime conviction and fights to reduce or eliminate those consequences. To make that vision a reality, attorneys must have strong advocacy and negotiation skills.

Broadcasting Your Side of the Story

Major fraud and other such cases usually receive considerable media attention. 24/7/365 news channels have lots of airspace to fill. Therefore, in many cases, they basically reprint social media posts. There’s no shortage of such posts from alleged “victims.”

Online reputation management lessens the impact of negative stories. If you have weeds in your yard and you work to fertilize and water the grass, the grass chokes out the weeds. So, these companies usually post as much positive content as possible.

Most online reputation management companies promise game-changing results, but they may or may not have the will and/or the tools to make good on these promises. A Rochester white-collar crime defense lawyer, who is plugged into the professional community, makes the right partnerships with the right companies.

Online reputation management not only addresses the collateral consequences of a white-collar crime charge. These efforts also address the direct consequences. Jurors do not have to wear blinders. They’re allowed to form their own opinions. They must simply be willing to reassess those attitudes based on the evidence presented in court.

Building a Strong Defense Strategy With a White-Collar Crime Lawyer

Large financial fraud investigations usually involve multiple agencies and have many moving parts. The more steps law enforcement officers must take, the more likely they are to make a procedural mistake, like seizing financial records without a valid warrant. Additionally, investigators in these situations often take shortcuts so they can make a major arrest and justify all the resources the government poured into the investigation.

Substantive defenses might be part of a defense strategy as well. Frequently, the mens rea (criminal state of mind) is a major issue in white-collar criminal cases.

Medical coding fraud is a good example. There’s a difference between submitting a false report with criminal intent and submitting a false report without thoroughly checking it. Furthermore, the coders who translate medical procedures into codes and submit reports to insurance companies usually rely on doctor-provided information. If that information is false, the reports are false as well.

If a substantive or procedural defense might apply, a Rochester white-collar crime defense lawyer conducts plea negotiations from a position of strength.

Delaying the Case

Usually, the faster we deal with a problem, the better the outcome. But criminal defense is different. Delay hurts the party with the burden of proof, which is the state. Long delays weaken the state’s case. For example, after several months, witnesses often forget important facts, lose interest in the case, and/or move out of state.

Delay also supports online reputation management. Because of the aforementioned 24/7/365 news cycle, media outlets quickly move on to the next big story. That said, a major event in the summer of 2023 is usually an obscure footnote a year later.

Embezzlement and other such cases have direct and collateral consequences. For a free consultation with an experienced Rochester white-collar crime attorney, contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi. Convenient payment plans are available.