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Folks, welcome to another edition of my video blog. Over the next series of videos, we're going to be talking about different crimes of theft ranging from simple shoplifting to burglary. Today's topic of discussion is the crime of shoplifting.

In Maine, shoplifting is a Class E Misdemeanor. It is the least serious of all the crimes. However, having a criminal conviction on your record is going to have a major impact on your future. Sadly, I see a lot of young people involved in shoplifting such as high school and college students. A lot of times, these kids are shoplifting under peer pressure. It may be part of a way to get into a fraternity or just as a way to fit in. Often times alcohol is involved and is the subject of the theft. What these kids don't realize (yes, I know it may be difficult to believe an 18 or 19-year-old person is a kid) is what happens when the case gets to court. In court, you're facing a district attorney who doesn't understand or care about your situation; doesn't want to show any leniency; and now you're facing the potential of a life-altering event if convicted.

A theft crime, even shoplifting, is sometimes considered to be more serious than many other misdemeanor crimes. That's because it's a violation of trust and future employers look at that in a very negative light. Therefore, it's imperative that you contact a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. While there are ways to get out from underneath a shoplifting conviction, you'll need the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney.

The maximum penalties for a Class E Misdemeanor conviction are a maximum of 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1000. The likelihood of serving any jail time on a first offense crime like shoplifting is extremely remote. However, the danger is that if this is your second or your third time shoplifting, you will probably be looking at more serious consequences that could include jail as a possible felony conviction. So again, if you've been charged with the crime of shoplifting, you should pick up the phone and call my office. I look forward to hearing from you and discussing your case.

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