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Consequences for shoplifting can be serious

While many may consider shoplifting to be a minor crime, individuals charged with the crime should take the situation seriously. This is because the consequences for a conviction can be harsh and impact your life for years to come. This is particularly true if you are a young person just starting out in life.

In addition to immediate consequences such as having to pay a fine, most people are likely aware that a criminal conviction can go on your record. In some situations having a criminal record can make it difficult to do things many take for granted such as get a job, rent an apartment or even secure financial aid for college. These consequences can be far reaching and greatly impact your life.

Readers may be surprised to hear that a conviction for shoplifting can also affect your credit rating. This could happen if the store from which you shoplifted seeks reimbursement via a civil demand letter. Should you fail to pay that amount, you could receive a negative civil judgment which would have a negative impact on your credit score. Among other things, credit reports can play an important role in securing loans and even getting a job.

As is the case with any criminal charge, there are multiple ways to respond. While some people will pursue a plea bargain, others decide to move forward with a not guilty plea. Before making a decision on how to proceed it is generally a good idea to seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. Taking into your specific circumstances they can provide options and answer any questions you may have so that you can make an educated decision.

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