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Fighting Shoplifting Charges In Iowa

Being arrested for shoplifting is embarrassing and humiliating. This is particularly true if people didn't intend to steal anything from the store where they were arrested. Fortunately, there are ways to fight shoplifting charges.

In Iowa, shoplifting is charged under the state's general theft statute. The degree of a theft charge in Iowa depends on the value of the items allegedly stolen. In most shoplifting cases, the value of the property at issue will result in a charge of fifth or fourth degree theft. Fifth degree theft is defined as the theft of property worth $200 or less. It is a simple misdemeanor; a conviction can result in a fine between $65 and $625 and a jail sentence of up to 30 days.

The theft of property worth over $200 but not over $500 is fourth degree theft, a serious misdemeanor. The potential fines range from $315 to $1,000 and the court may also impose a jail sentence of up to one year. If the property in question is valued at over $500, more serious charges, including felony charges, can apply.

In any theft case the prosecution must prove criminal intent. If a person leaves a store and forgets to pay for an item, there is no intent and the court may drop the charges.

Prosecutors in shoplifting cases often rely on store employees to provide eyewitness testimony. These employees are not trained law enforcement officers. They may not have had an unobstructed view of what happened, and they may have jumped to mistaken conclusions about a customer's behavior. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can highlight the weaknesses in their testimony on cross-examination.

Source: Iowa Code § 714.2, accessed Nov. 5, 2016

Categories
  • The Iowa State Bar Association
  • DUI Defense Law
  • NACDL
  • AAJ
  • Iowa Association of Justice

Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger 

Put Over 50 Years of Combined Trial Experience On Your Side 
  • J. Dean Keegan
  • Eric D. Tindal
  • Andrea D. Jaeger
  • J. Dean Keegan J. Dean Keegan

    Owner

    Decades of Award-Winning Legal Service J. Dean Keegan was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa. After high school, Dean served ...
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  • Eric D. Tindal Eric D. Tindal

    Attorney

    Highly Rated Criminal Defense in Iowa City Eric D. Tindal, attorney at Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger, graduated from the University ...
    Eric D. Tindal Photo
  • Andrea D. Jaeger Andrea D. Jaeger

    Attorney

    Experienced Criminal Defense in the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities Andrea D. Jaeger practices in the areas of white collar ...
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  • First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death Acquitted of First Degree Murder at Trial

    Henry County FECR005634. Attorney Tindal’s client was charged with First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death. Following a two week trial, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Vehicular Homicide Charges Reduced, No Incarceration Imposed

    Muscatine County FECR056673. Vehicular Homicide was reduced to Involuntary Manslaughter. Total sentence was suspended.

  • Felony Drug Charges Charges Dismissed

    Muscatine County FECR050038. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with two counts of controlled substance violation, as well as two counts of failure to affix tax stamp. After a year of court appearances and negotiating with the prosecutor, all charges were dismissed with costs assessed to the State.

  • Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, & Disorderly Conduct Carrying Weapons & Public Intoxication Charges D

    Linn County AGCR108044. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, and Disorderly Conduct. After plea negotiations with the State, Mr. Keegan was successful in dismissing the Carrying Weapons and Public Intoxication charges.

  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges Dismissed

    Iowa County FECR010358. Attorney Tindal was able to show the Court that his client was detained in violation of his Constitutional rights and that the K9 utilized in the search was unreliable. Following hearing all charges were dismissed.

  • Embezzlement No Criminal Charges Filed

    Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa. An employee of a Cedar Rapids business accused of embezzling six million dollars was not charged criminally after the County Attorney agreed to abide by an agreement negotiated by Attorneys J. Dean Keegan and Jerald Kinnamon in which the accused would pay two million dollars to the company.

  • Second Degree Sexual Abuse and Other Charges Acquittal at Trial

    Johnson County FECR089277. The Defendant was charged with Second Degree Sexual Abuse and other charges. Following a one-week trial by Mr. Tindal, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft Charge Dismissed

    Scott County FECR384046. The Defendant was charged with Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft. The Court dismissed the felony following a Motion litigated by Mr. Tindal. The Defendant subsequently pled to the remaining misdemeanor.

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana and Methamphetamine Charges Dismissed

    Washington Count FECR5351. Attorney Tindal and Attorney Clemens Erdahl successfully argued that evidence of drug manufacture was obtained in violation of the Constitution. All charges were dismissed.

  • Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense Charge Dismissed

    Linn County OWCR104143. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with a felony 3rd offense OWI. Mr. Keegan argued the officer did not have reasonable grounds to pull over his client. The charges were dropped from a felony to a ticket fine of $15.00 for being in a park past closing time.

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