- 9 years ago
- Wedding: September 2012
I hate when comments get removed.
I hate when comments get removed.
I agree with everyone that stealing is stealing and of course it is a crime.
I have family in law enforcement so I know that how this is handled depends on the state you live in.
Obviously it was up the store to press charges, which they clearly did b/c he was arrested. I didn’t read through all the comments so you may already have mentioned this, but it almost all cases this will not qualify as a felony. Even in CA, where the laws for this are pretty strict it has to be over $500 to qualify as a felony, and then it is still up to the juge. So he is (if he hasn’t been already) likely to be charged with a misdomeaner, and if this is his first offense it really won’t be that big of a deal (legal wise)…probably a fine and community service.
The way he was treated does suck, but it happens, and now I think the best thing to do is just move forward. In the end everyone makes mistakes, and while I am not excusing what he did, it is ultimatly up to you as to whether you can trust him, which from what you said it sounds like you do.
OP: I’m not sure you will see this since this thread is so old, but you asked for advice on how to make sure it never happens again, so I wanted to post my input.
I know some other posters have said the same thing, but – as someone who works in loss prevention, I was shocked by the fact that your fiancee was put in jail for shoplifting under $5 of merchandise. That doesn’t sound right to me. As I understand it, that would not happen in the state where I live, UNLESS there were other charges added on to the theft (ie, not cooperating with police, getting violent, having multiple arrests in the past, etc.). Maybe it works differently where you live, but I keep wondering if there is more to the story. If you were a friend of mine, I’d urge you to check the police report and be certain that nothing important has been left out of the story you were told. (You already have an “arrest ticket,” but might want to see if there is more extensive paperwork.) I really, really hope that he was honest with you and that you won’t find anything, but again, if you were my friend, I’d want you to check, just to be sure.
If that story IS the whole truth, then I think he should talk to a lawyer (probably someone other than the public defender you already mentioned) and find out whether it was legal to hold him in jail like that over such an offense. Clearly, I don’t condone stealing even a tiny item, but I also think the punishment should fit the crime, and a traumatic night in jail with scary criminals is just NOT an appropriate punishment for $5 worth of merchandise from a remorseful and cooperative sholifter. I’m not a lawyer or in law enforcement, but this just does not sound right to me. If his rights were violated by the police, then he should take action. At the very least, he might want to write a letter to someone in a position of power in your city and mention the waste of taxpayer $ that occurred – maybe they just need some new policies to ensure that this doesn’t happen to others.
I hope everything works out for both of you. Hopefully, with your support, he will be able to stop himself from ever doing this again. This kind of thing can seriously ruin a person’s life. He is very, very lucky to have a fiancee who loves him so much and is standing by him during this time.
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