Theft and Employment Ramifications

I get the question all of the time where I have a client come into my office who was recently charged with theft and ask, what should I tell my employer and am I going to lose my job?

First off, theft is considered a crime of dishonesty. As you can imagine, most employers will not be too impressed when they hear one of their employees were charged with theft. In regard to the question, you should not volunteer information to your employer that you were charged with theft. If your employer approaches you and asks about the charge, you can tell them you were charged with theft but not convicted. In regard to whether you will lose your job varies on a myriad of things such as does your job require you to handle money; is termination an available option with respect to the employer’s policy/handbook/contract; or whether you will actually be convicted of the theft charge. These are just a few examples to ponder. If your job is at risk, it is your best option to hire an attorney. If it is a theft where the value of the alleged items taken is low, it may be possible to work out a deal where the charge can be dismissed; or at the very least, you may be able to have the court not enter judgment so that there is not a theft conviction on your criminal record.

It is also important to contact a theft defense attorney early-on in your case; do NOT wait until two days before trial to look for an attorney. Almost all attorneys will decline your case with only a few days to prepare for a trial.

Another advantage to having an attorney is that they may be able to amend your theft charge to a lower charge such as a trespass or lower misdemeanor theft. The mere reduction of the charge can eliminate a good chunk of probation time, jail time, and the fine. Simply put, contact an a theft defense attorney so that you can go over your theft charge and strategize how you want to handle your case. If you have been charged with theft, do not hesitate to contact me and I would be happy to answer your questions.