Felony Theft Anoka County Case Study
Charges: Felony Theft 609.52.2 (a)(1), Felony Receiving Stolen Property 609.53.1
In March of 2014 my client was charged with Felony Theft, Felony Receiving Stolen Property, Theft of and Taking Property without Consent. She was approached by police for taking items without her employer’s permission over an extended period of time.
Client was approached by police after she allegedly took items from her employer without their permission in an amount of over $10.000.00 during an extended period of time. Client admitted to stealing the items when she was confronted by store security and to police. She cooperated with the investigation and gave consent for officers to recover property she had taken. Client was charged with Felony Theft and Felony Receiving Stolen Property punishable by a maximum of 10 years in jail and/or a $20,000.00 fine. Client had no serious prior criminal history and consented to search by police and cooperated in returning property prior to retaining counsel.
After review of all of the voluminous reports it was determined that Client did not have a defense for her actions and had admitted to the theft and cooperated in the investigation. Client gave consent to search for the stolen items and provided officers with numerous items totaling over $6,000.00 dollars. The case was very troubling since Client had no criminal history to speak of. When faced with a situation where no defense exists it becomes necessary to find any wrinkle to gain leniency for your client. Her saving graces were she didn’t have any prior felony offenses and she had cooperated with police in returning much of the merchandise taken. It is imperative to diligently search for positives in an effort to get the case dismissed, reduce the charge or develop a strategy that allows for a resolution that provides a second chance.
My client was proactive and had a mental health evaluation completed which I was able to disclose to the prosecutor. The evaluation was important to show that she was taking this situation very seriously. Her issues did not excuse or provide a defense for her charges but it did show good faith to the prosecutor and the court that this was out of character and it provided me with an argument to request leniency in her sentence.
After months of diligent Client communication I approached the prosecutor in the effort of resolving the case and providing my Client a chance to redeem herself in the future by not having a felony on her record. I argued that this was an isolated incident and out of character and she had proactively sought out professional help to assist her. Despite the seriousness of the offenses and her employer being involved I was able to agree to a Stay of Imposition of sentence where my client’s felony conviction would be reduced to a misdemeanor upon completion of her probation and additionally she would serve zero jail time.
This resolution was critical because if convicted she would have a felony on her record and had many of her personal freedoms (right to Vote, housing, employment,etc.) taken from her for her lifetime. By the resolution she was granted a second chance to earn back those freedoms and once again become a productive citizen.
By being proactive and seeking professional counseling assistance outlined to the prosecutor, probation and the court that this individual was worthy of a second chance and no jail time which were our goals. This was an incredible result. She was not ordered to serve any jail time and upon good behavior and continued counseling she will have her felony reduced to a misdemeanor.
My client was relieved, ecstatic and extremely appreciative of the second chance. The resolution (s) allowed her to maintain her employment and housing and get the felony conviction off of her record with continued good behavior. It is critical to get to know your client’s background and personal issues in order to resolve the case in a successful manner especially when no defenses are present. The prosecution and court are oftentimes willing to be creative when a client shows good faith and has taken proactive steps to show that they have attempted to remedy their problem(s).
Most clients don’t realize how important it is to have a clean criminal record and particularly no felony convictions on their record. Employment, housing, voting, loans, possession of firearms, immigration, etc. are all areas that can be restricted or prohibited if a felony conviction is placed on your record. It is imperative to contact an attorney immediately upon getting charged with any criminal offense and specifically a felony offense to determine whether it is possible to resolve the case or dismiss the case in an attempt to keep a criminal conviction off of your record.