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JG_Legal, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47
Experience:  Experience of consumer law, financial regulation and criminal law.
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I need help in regards ***** ***** court summons related to

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Hi I need help in regards ***** ***** court summons related to shoplifting please. I committed theft for the first time in my life yesterday for no particular reason, just really immature of me and got caught. Although I didn't check the price of the two items before I picked them up, I was told they were worth £279 in total. This was in boots, the police got called. As I explained to the police that I need to go back to my four month old baby asap as he's not too well and dad can't keep him too long. So they decided to interview me there and then. I got cautioned and they have told me I will need to attend court and will receive a court of summons through the post. They explained although this is my first time, I would need to attend court as the items I stole were very expensive. This all happened Saturday afternoon. I am really very ashamed and haven't told anyone about this not even my husband. Please advice me what will happen in the court and also what steps I should take to help myself.
Do you have no cautions, warnings or reprimands on your record?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was cautioned once back in 2009 for leaving my 9 year old boy at home alone for 15 minutes while I went to the chemist to get him some medicine. Someone called the police on me. I was cautioned for this. When the police did a history check on me yesterday, this did flag up but they told me not to worry as this isn't related to theft. Other than that nothing else.
So you were charged with theft and the court date is called a 1st Appearance. In Court, you'll be be asked whether you are guilty or not guilty. Based on what you've said I'm assuming you intend to plead guilty. Doing so at this stage means you'll get approximately a third off the sentence that you would get if you were found guilty after trial.Based on what you've told me about the offence and your offending history, if you plead guilty I think you'll get either a fine or a low level community order (most likely a fine). It will probably be a band B or band C fine this so esomewhere between 100 - 150% of your weekly income (so if you earn £200 a week the fine might be £200 - £300).If you get a community order it will probably be a tag curfew for a month or maybe a bit longer.In any event, regardless of sentence you will have to pay £180 court fee and £60 victim surcharge.I hope all goes well.If I have answered your question please accept my answer. If you require further clarification please ask.
If I have answered your question please accept my answer. If you require further clarification please ask.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello thank you for your response. I do intent to plea guilty but I have a few things to clarify, kindly please answer and I will then rate you. 1. I am a single mother with three children, 12, 9 and a four month old baby. Currently I am off work on maternity allowance which ends in November. After this ends I intend to go back to my old job which is 16hours a week on the national minimum age. Do you think the fine would be around the figure you have mentioned? 2. I am really very worried, do you think it's more likely I'll be fined or a community order? 3. Boots have banned me permanently but also said I will get some letter from them which will mention that I will have to pay a penalty to them too, due to the time they have wasted on me while I was there. They obviously got their items back intact so is it likely I would be fined by them and if I did, what are my rights. Would I have to pay? I'm not even sure how much they'll be asking for. 4. Is this going to be a conviction and recorded on my crb as I was intending on getting a taxi license in a years time once my baby was a little older.5. As I have not told anyone about this, if I go to court alone and not appoint a solicitor is that ok? And is this likely to go on the newspaper? Thank you in advance for your time and help.
1. The fine won't be any less that a Band B which is 75 - 125% of your weekly pay so the average is 100%. Any financial penalty can be paid on pretty low weekly repayments. My clients are regularly allowed to pay £5 a week by the courts.2. I think its tough to say whether it'll be a fine or a low community order. But it will be one of those. Like I said, most likely a fine.3. Shoplifting is a crime and a civil wrong (a tort) so Boots can claim compensation from you in the letter you describe. However, they can only claim 'consequential losses' in your situation as they recovered the items intact. They need to provide evidence of consequential expenses such as fixing a shelf for example or sending letters etc, or diverted staff if there was a huge amount of disruption like a fight or something. They cannot claim for apportioned overheads for security guards etc.4. To obtain a taxi licence you need to be 'fit and proper'. This is deliberately broad and vague and previous convictions can prevent you getting one. However, in my experience it is only serious previous convictions OR where they are minor, ones which are to do with taxi / or driving, such as touting or drink driving. I think you'll be OK.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much you have put my mind at ease. I have learnt such a big lesson by doing this, feeling really ashamed of myself as I am a very trustworthy and honest person otherwise. Just to clarify the boots issue. The security guard told me I would be fined for their time, for eg his time spent on me. So are you saying they can not recover the security guards time from me? The was one staff sitting in the office with us but she only was there for apprx 15 minutes, as the police arrived really quick. Can they recover money for her 15 mins. Also I did add another question on there afterwards which you probably didn't notice, can you please answer this for me:
5. As I have not told anyone about this, if I go to court alone and not appoint a solicitor is that ok? And is this likely to go on the newspaper? Thank you so much for putting my mind at ease, I really appreciate your help and quick response.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also would you know how this would show up on my crb? What would it say as the conviction?
They cannot recover security guard time as that is his job, its a cost that is already covered. Unless it was an unusually disruptive theft, which is doesn't sound like, they cannot charge you for that. You can get a duty solicitor in court. Its relatively simple and you don't need to get one before the court day. Just ask for the duty at reception. This will not go in the papers. It will show up on youre CRB as a conviction for theft. The CRB will also state the sentence you receive. If I have answered your question please accept my answer. If you require further clarification please ask.
JG_Legal and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much
Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello there actually just in a little dilemma. I've been called by the police today who have offered me to accept a police caution or they take it to court. I have told them I need time to think and will let him know late afternoon. I have been to see my dr, and told her what has been happening to me and what I did. As I have been really stressed over thinking why did I do this because I have never thought in my life to steal. My dr has diagnosed me to be suffering from postpartum depression and has prescribed me with anti depressants. Do you think I have a chance of saving myself from this caution if I told the court of my condition or will things get worse if I decided to go to court? I want to obviously do what will effect me less. Is it better I accept the police caution or tell them I want to go court? Please advice.
A caution is a lot less serious than a conviction at court (which you will receive if you plead guilty or are found guilty after trial). I strongly recommend you take the caution if you intend to plead guilty anyway.