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Friends arrested for shoplifting, What will happen next?

(29 Posts)
pissedrightoff Fri 16-Sep-11 15:56:45

Friends of mine were shopping in a supermarket yesterday and were arrested for shoplifting. Packet of toilet rolls hanging on the back of the trolley were not paid for, Female friend hung them on the trolley and male friend was pushing the trolley out of the store when they were stopped by store detective. Police called, both of them arrested and formally charged.

What would happen next? My friend is in a right state about it and thinking they may not get their visa now for a holiday to America in 9 weeks. Would this be a possibility?

Thanks in advance.

prh47bridge Fri 16-Sep-11 16:42:05

For a first time offence the most likely outcomes are a penalty notice or a caution from the police.

As I understand it the arrest means your friend will have to apply for a visa as they are no longer eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. That does not necessarily mean they won't be able to get a visa but I don't know the exact rules used.

Of course, a lot of people simply lie on the ESTA form and go in under the Visa Waiver Program anyway. I am not recommending that - it could be costly if your friend ends up being refused entry - but it does happen.

Fimbo Fri 16-Sep-11 16:43:41

Oh gawd I feel for them. I have done that so often, unintentionally of course.

mumofsoontobelawstudent Fri 16-Sep-11 16:53:06

Formally charged? Seems a bit harsh if for a first offence, I'd have thought they would get a caution.
Have they got a court date yet? I'd suggest instructing a solicitor sooner rather than later with regards to representing them at the hearing.

As prh says, it may well cause them problems if they go to America although if going in 9 weeks that may be before their Court date so they might be ok as no convictions at the time they are going.

pissedrightoff Fri 16-Sep-11 17:05:16

mumof That's what I thought too, a bit harsh.

fanjolina Fri 16-Sep-11 17:12:28

I don't see how they will be convicted in court in these circumstances. You need to have 'mens rea' - the intent to commit the crime - present, and it does not seem to be here.

mumofsoontobelawstudent Fri 16-Sep-11 17:12:47

Not being funny but are you sure it was a first offence? Very suprising not given a caution for the accidental theft of toilet rolls!

pissedrightoff Fri 16-Sep-11 17:24:21

Pretty sure would be a first offence, asked her if she was sure she was formally charged and not just given a caution, she said she thinks was charged as they read out the bit 'anything you say can be used in court etc etc

So sounds like they were charged, but could it have been just a caution?

Fimbo Fri 16-Sep-11 17:26:16

Was it a mistake or did they deliberately steal them?

Ponders Fri 16-Sep-11 17:30:16

it wasn't Tesco, was it?

they seem to enjoy hanging people out to dry

hmm

pissedrightoff Fri 16-Sep-11 17:30:56

Oh it was a mistake, they explained this and offered to pay but still the police were called.

pissedrightoff Fri 16-Sep-11 17:31:17

No it was ASDA

mumofsoontobelawstudent Fri 16-Sep-11 17:33:22

she would have had to have accepted a formal caution so must have known. They have to be cautioned (you do not have to say anything blah blah blah) as soon as they are arrested so just because they were cautioned does not mean they were charged.

I'm sorry but I don't understand how she cannot know whether she was charged to return on bail/attend Mags court or was giving a formal caution (ie don't do it again or else!)

pissedrightoff Fri 16-Sep-11 17:37:15

She was told the matter would be passed to the procurator fiscals office who would write to her either with a fine or to attend a court hearing.

This is in Scotland btw, I should have mentioned before. sorry.

prh47bridge Fri 16-Sep-11 17:50:13

Just for clarity, the arrest is enough to mean your friend is no longer eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. It doesn't matter whether or not it leads to a conviction. And I'm not sure whether the advice I gave on likely outcomes applies in Scotland.

mumofsoontobelawstudent Fri 16-Sep-11 17:55:59

Ah, Scotland, sorry, no idea, only know a bit about criminal law in England.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 16-Sep-11 18:00:24

They will now need to personally apply for a visa at the US Embassy and be interviewed. It may or may not be granted.

It is of no consequence where the offence took place; it is the fact they have been arrested and charged that will go against them re an application to holiday in the US.

pissedrightoff Fri 16-Sep-11 18:01:00

My fault entirely, I forgot that the laws were different here.

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Fri 16-Sep-11 18:01:17

I thought you had to have intent for it to be theft? Paying for the rest of the shopping and not noticing the loo roll on the hook of the trolley is easily done. The supermarket may have a policy of prosecuting all 'offenders' but that doesn't mean she has to plead guilty.

mumofsoontobelawstudent Fri 16-Sep-11 18:04:53

Yes, in England the definition is that they have to have dishonestly appropriated property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. That is the hard part, proving the intention/lack of intention.

pissedrightoff Fri 16-Sep-11 18:17:18

I thought you would have had to have physically left the shop also?

Pan Fri 16-Sep-11 18:33:58

pissed - no, if you walk past a til and heading forthe door evidentially it indicates an intent t owalk out without paying. You don't have to leave the store at all.

pissedrightoff Fri 16-Sep-11 18:43:37

Ah I see, It all just seems to be a bit of an over-reaction.

Ponders Fri 16-Sep-11 19:01:31

I have nearly done that with a loo roll pack several times

it's a bit there but for the grace of god, isn't it sad

WillbeanChariot Fri 16-Sep-11 19:32:29

Well under English law she isn't guilty, and you can only be given a caution if you accept guilt. I don't think you are entitled to a solicitor at police station in Scotland so perhaps she hasn't seen one. If she gets a court date (and you never know they might drop it) she should plead not guilty. Don't know about Scotland but it would be quite likely all over within nine weeks even with a trial in my area.

She needs to get a solicitor for court.

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