Arrested & Given a Shoplifting Desk Appearance Ticket for New York Penal Law 165.40 & 155.25: The Trespass Notice

You were arrested in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens and given a shoplifting Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT or D.A.T.) charging you with New York Penal Law 165.40 (Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree) or New York Penal Law 155.25 (Petit Larceny). You are a teacher, lawyer, physician or you work in finance. The collateral consequences beyond a conviction are enormous for you in terms of your career. Compounding matters, when store security grabbed you and brought you into the backroom, they bullied you into signing a “Trespass Notice” and financial forfeiture or restitution agreement. Even worse, they just snapped a photo of you with a digital camera. It is fairly clear that you need a New York criminal lawyer to advance your best defense to avoid any blemish on your clean record, but you need to discuss with that shoplifting New York criminal defense attorney what you just signed away in the backroom of Macys, Bloomingdales, Century 21 or any other department store in New York City.

What is the Trespass Notice

Whether or not your New York criminal lawyer has the ability to ultimately get the shoplifting case against you dismissed or dropped to an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD), there are certain realities you must face. One of those realities is that you likely were asked (or bullied) to sign or actually signed a Trespass Notice.

Whether it is Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn or Century 21, Duane Reade or Bloomingdales, the Trespass Notice is generally the same. That is, the store is revoking your right to set foot inside for a certain period of time. In fact, most of the standard agreements dictate that your right to be present in their establishment at any location is revoked. In other words, your right to go to Macys in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Westchester has been terminated.

Even if you did not sign this agreement, the record of that agreement is preserved. Even worse, often times a digital picture of you is taken to be associated with the date, time and location of the alleged shoplifting or theft. This information is then maintained the stores database.

What Happens if I Ignore the Trespass Notice and Return to the Store

If you return to a store where a Trespass Notice has been issued, then you may be charged with a new misdemeanor crime of Trespassing. Even worse, if the store security and prosecutors can establish that you had the intent to steal again, then a Trespass misdemeanor is the least of your worries as you may now be charged with Burglary in the Third Degree (New York Penal Law 140.20). Burglary in the Third Degree is a “D” felony punishable by up to seven years in state prison. If My New York Criminal Lawyer Beats My Shoplifting Case Does the Trespass Notice Disappear The short answer to the above question is “no.” The criminal case is an entirely different matter and has no impact on the Trespass Notice action. In fact, although it will not be discussed in this entry, the civil action against you in the amount of hundreds of dollars by the store can proceed as well (please follow the link for information on civil actions by department stores through the use of New York General Obligations Law Section 11-105)

While I do not dispense out advice over the internet and you should consult with a New York shoplifting criminal lawyer should you be charged with either New York Penal section 155.25 or New York Penal Law section 165.40, one thing is certain in the realm of Trespass Notices. Take them seriously. Very seriously. The last thing a young college graduate, school teacher or even a stay at home mother needs to be facing is a felony charge.

Beyond the links above, practical and useful analysis of shoplifting laws, legal decisions and general guidelines followed by prosecutors can be found on the Saland Law PC website as well as the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog. A search for terms such as “shoplifting,” “Desk Appearance Ticket” and “155.25” on the criminal law blog will reveal a tremendous amount of educational information. The following are some sample educational articles:

Potential Offers for First Time Shoplifters in Manhattan Arrested for Shoplifting without Leaving the Store Shoplifting Arrests & State Action Hearings: What are Your Rights Against a Security Guard

Founded by two former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys, the New York criminal defense attorneys at Saland Law PC represent clients arrested for, charged with or issued Desk Appearance Ticket in connection with the crimes of shoplifting in New York City.

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