Woodbury Commons Desk Appearance Ticket for Shoplifting (Penal Law Section 155.25)
Woodbury Commons is a popular outlet mall and shopping destination for tourists and locals alike. The designer clothing and other luxury items on sale there make it an easy place for shoppers to give in to temptation. Unfortunately, many of those people make the mistake of attempting to steal items, and suddenly find themselves confronted by the frightening prospect of a criminal prosecution.
People without criminal records caught shoplifting at a store at Woodbury Commons most typically receive Desk Appearance Tickets directing them to appear in the court at the Woodbury Justice Court which is located on 511 NY-32, Highland Mills, New York, on a later date. Shoplifters are usually caught by store security and then held until the police can arrive to effectuate an arrest. While waiting for police to arrive, store security guards might question a shoplifter or search through their purse or pockets. Many people complain that these searches and interrogations violate their constitutional rights, but the U.S. Constitution actually does not protect you from searches by private store security guards – it only protects you from law enforcement officers – and a store security guard does not have to read you your Miranda rights, either. So if store security finds other stolen items or contraband such as drugs on the person of a shoplifter, that could also result in additional criminal charges. Moreover, if you confess to stealing to a store security guard, or sign a document admitting what you have done, that document can be used against you by police and the government in a later criminal proceeding.
Additionally, store security guards are likely to give a shoplifter a trespass notice telling them that they are no longer permitted to enter their store, and they may even demand a civil settlement at the time of the arrest or later via a civil demand letter. The store certainly has the right to issue the trespass notice and pursue a civil claim against a shoplifter; if you have received such a civil demand, we recommend that you retain an attorney to discuss your options.
Arrests for shoplifting can have extremely serious consequences for non-citizens (especially those seeking U.S. visas or green cards), financial sector professionals, and teachers, among others. If you are such a person facing a shoplifting charge, Galluzzo & Arnone can help you navigate the unique challenges of this situation, as we have extensive experience representing criminal defendants in all three categories.
It should also be noted that theft of over $1000.00 worth of merchandise warrants a higher felony charge of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree (PL 155.30). An arrest for this charge does not typically result in a Desk Appearance Ticket, and the resultant procedure and outcome is usually very different from a regular shoplifting case.
Though past results do not guarantee future outcomes, our attorneys have been successful on many occasions in negotiating favorable plea bargains that have allowed our clients accused of shoplifting at Woodbury Commons to emerge from the ordeal without any criminal records or jail time. Depending on the value of the stolen property, it may be possible to negotiate an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (“ACD”) or disorderly conduct violation (PL 240.20), neither of which is a criminal conviction that gives one a criminal record. Typically, the shoplifter has to complete a shoplifting rehabilitation course online, or perform community service, in order to secure this disposition. Court surcharges may also be necessary to make this deal with the prosecution.
Many of our clients have been foreigners unable to attend the court date itself. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to give authorization to an attorney via affidavit to appear in your stead. The attorneys at Galluzzo & Arnone have appeared via affidavit for a number of foreign clients accused of shoplifting at Woodbury Commons, and they have greatly appreciated the fact that they were able to avoid spending the time and money to travel back to the United States to make their court appearance. Contact Galluzzo & Arnone to see whether they may be able to save you a trip back to the United States.