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Shoplifting & Employment Problems

New York City Shoplifting Attorney

Shoplifting and Employment Problems

According to a 2011 report by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), it is estimated that one in four adults have an arrest or conviction that follows them throughout their lives. Most employers conduct a background check. These checks can be a part of an application, a condition of continued employment, or done before an internal transfer. If they reveal an arrest or conviction, you could lose out on an opportunity without being told why. Even if you avoid a shoplifting conviction, an arrest record could follow you around making it important to also hide the details of your arrest from future employers. Keep in mind that there is no post-conviction expungment law in New York so a conviction is, generally, permanent.

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the labor market is more competitive than ever. The National Institute of Justice recently cited a letter from a frustrated person unable to find employment. In it, he complained "I have worked hard to turn my life around.... I have had numerous interviews and sent out more than 200 resumes for jobs which I am more than qualified." He was convicted of a crime when he was only 21.

If you are convicted of shoplifting charges, your future employment or career advancement may be negatively affected.

Shoplifting is an especially dreadful mark on your background. Under federal law, shoplifting is considered a crime of dishonesty and breach of trust. Dishonesty is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "Behaving or prone to behave in an untrustworthy, deceitful, or insincere way." The issue of dishonesty is relevant to employers who must decide, in addition to other qualities, whether an applicant can be trusted. Under immigration law, shoplifting is considered a crime of moral turpitude. Moral turpitude is generally defined as "conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals." The federal and immigration views on shoplifting provide an important insight with which to understand that employers could view an employee's shoplifting conviction as especially relevant to the employer-employee relationship. This is noteworthy because shoplifting is one of the few misdemeanors to be singled out this way. Misdemeanor assault, minor drug possession, or DWI/DUI are not considered crimes of dishonesty or breach of trust. Many misdemeanor drug convictions are not considered crimes of moral turpitude. This implies that an employer may be more forgiving of a misdemeanor marijuana conviction than a shoplifting conviction.

Background checks have become standard practice and are easily available for employers to conduct over the Internet. These checks are being used more and more by employers to screen applicants seeking employment. Automation is making this worse because employers can use software to perform an initial screening of submitted resumes. Applicants with criminal records or other undesirable aspects could be automatically excluded without the employer or applicant knowing the exact reason for the exclusion. If you are convicted of shoplifting offenses, you may be required to disclose your conviction to your current or future employers as part of the terms of your employment. A shoplifting conviction may lead to a pattern of permanent rejection for jobs that you are otherwise qualified for.

A criminal conviction for shoplifting discovered on a routine background check can also adversely affect educational applications, professional license applications, credit, and even mortgage or rental applications.

What can be done?

Fortunately, it is possible to avoid conviction and remove the arrest from your record but it will depend on your case and the steps you take in court. The court date is critical. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The same is true with your case. If you walk into court unprepared, you could get convicted which would lead to a permanent criminal record. In New York, a conviction is, generally, irreversible. You should go over the strengths and weaknesses of your case with your lawyer as soon as possible. You should also know the risk of conviction to your employment. If you work for the government, a bank, have a professional license, work in media, or are otherwise subjected to heightened scrutiny, you are especially vulnerable and need an aggressive defense. Be careful about what you say in court. Any admissions or explanations you provide in court could come back to haunt you. Since court transcripts are generally available to the public, it is wise to discuss what, if any, statements you plan to make with your attorney before your court date. You should be careful about what you say to your employer. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the best strategy to take with your employer. Contact Us for a confidential case evaluation.

Due to the negative consequences that a shoplifting conviction can have on your future, it is in your best interests to do everything possible to fight a conviction. Having an experienced attorney in your corner as soon as possible can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. At the Law Offices of Lance Fletcher, you can get competent and experienced legal representation from a New York shoplifting attorney who has handled countless criminal cases, who consistently appears in New York City courts on behalf of clients, and whose practice is devoted to the defense of accused shoplifters. Lance Fletcher is a former Manhattan prosecutor with years of experience defending shoplifting cases in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx, and throughout New York State.

If you are facing shoplifting charges, don't delay in contacting the firm for a consultation. Find out what you need to know in regards to the charges you face and get the legal support and guidance you need.

Contact the New York City shoplifting Attorney at the firm if you have been issued a Desk Appearance ticket for shoplifting today.

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