Every day, dozens of people in Manhattan are arrested for allegedly shoplifting at major department stores, such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Sak’s and Nordstrom. Security guards at these stores are oftentimes mistaken in their assessments and rough in their handling of suspects. As such, the experience of being apprehended by store security guards and accused of shoplifting can be jarring and traumatic. Typically, suspects are brought to a private room in the department store and interrogated by security guards. Then, they are forced to sign a trespass notice acknowledging that they are no longer welcome in the store (a warning that they could be arrested for trespassing should they ever return). Afterwards, police arrive and place the suspect in handcuffs and typically take them back to their precinct, fingerprint them, put them in a holding cell for a few hours, and then issue a Desk Appearance Ticket to the suspect and release the suspect. They are typically charged with a violation of Penal Law Section 155.25, Petit Larceny, a Class A misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in jail.
A person who receives a Desk Appearance Ticket has in fact been arrested. The Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) instructs the arrested person to appear in court on a future date for the arraignment, or first appearance in court. Usually these arraignment dates are anywhere from two to six weeks later. This at least gives the person some time to choose a good attorney to accompany them to court.
These cases can present numerous problems for people with particular backgrounds. For example, many of the people who receive these sorts of DATs are tourists from out of town or even out of the country. Returning back to New York for a court appearance can be difficult if not impossible for such people. Matthew Galluzzo routinely makes arrangements for out-of-town clients to appear virtually or via affidavit in these matters, and can possibly assist you if that is an issue.
Other clients are not American citizens but are seeking to gain or maintain residency. An arrest for even something as seemingly minor as shoplifting can potentially have serious negative consequences for a non-citizen seeking admission, a visa, or citizenship. Matthew Galluzzo has represented so many foreign citizens that the nation of France knighted him last year. Though he is not an immigration law practitioner, strictly speaking, he has tremendous experience representing foreigners facing these issues and can potentially help you navigate them.
Many others work in the financial services industry. For them, a theft-related arrest can have serious professional consequences. FINRA-licensed brokers may have to report this arrest to FINRA on their U4 forms, and employees of FDIC-insured institutions could become ineligible to work under the FDIA. Licenses in the fields of accounting or investment management could also be at stake. Matthew Galluzzo has helped dozens of finance professionals resolve cases such as these without serious professional consequences, but many criminal defense attorneys are unaware of the potential issues at stake for those in the finance industry.
Many shoplifting-related Desk Appearance Tickets can be resolved quietly and efficiently by arranging to have the suspect participate in pre-arraignment counseling sessions managed by the prosecutor’s office. Matthew Galluzzo regularly communicates with the administrators of this program and has earned dismissals for many of his clients through this route.
Matthew Galluzzo has been a criminal defense attorney for over fifteen years and has represented more than 100 people accused of shoplifting. Prior to being a defense attorney, he was a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. As such, he has spent his entire career working primarily in the Manhattan criminal court system. He is well known and respected by the judges, criminal court staff, and prosecutors. If you or a loved one have received a Desk Appearance Ticket for shoplifting, you should strongly consider reaching out to him to enlist his assistance.