Pickpocketing is typically a crime that we imagine happening to tourists in foreign lands, but it can actually happen right here in Jackson. In Mississippi, pickpocketing will generally fall under the crime of theft or larceny. Depending upon the amount or value of goods or currency taken, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges. While pickpocketing is widely regarded as a petty crime, if convicted, you could face jail or prison time and expensive fines. If you or a loved one has been charged with pickpocketing or petit larceny in or around the Jackson area, the sooner you get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney, the better chance you have at a favorable outcome in your case.
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Pickpocketing: a Theft Crime
Pickpocketing is theft. This crime occurs when somebody takes another person’s wallet, purse or bag, without force or knowledge. Pickpocketing cases vary from being very skilled and nearly unnoticeable to pretty obvious bumps and thefts. Because some pickpocketing jobs are so smooth, it can be hard for victims to know exactly who the perpetrator was. That puts innocent bystanders in tough positions. If you can’t completely and accurately identify the perpetrator, there’s a strong possibility that you could be implicating an innocent person in the crime.
Without Force or Knowledge
A pickpocketing charge differs from shoplifting, burglary, robbery and other types of theft because it often involves the victim, but without that person’s knowledge. Equally important, pickpocketing lacks force. There is no intimidation, force or threat of force involved. Since the victim often has no idea that the pickpocketing is even taking place, there is no force used. In some occasions, there might be a bump involved. The pickpocketing suspect might bump into the victim or even have somebody else bump into the victim as a diversion tactic, allowing them to quickly and quietly snatch the wallet or pocketbook.
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Since the circumstances of any given case can vary, it’s important to understand that no two cases are exactly the same. You could be facing additional related charges associated with larceny and theft. If you’re arrested with a weapon or drugs, you could be facing additional charges. Even if your crime was non-violent, the addition of a gun or other type of deadly weapon can quickly escalate the charges and potential penalties you’re facing.
Penalties Associated With Pickpocketing
Depending upon the value of the stolen items, you could be facing either misdemeanor or felony charges. If you’re facing misdemeanor petit larceny charges, you could spend up to one year in jail, if convicted. You could also be facing fines associated with the conviction. If you’re convicted of felony grand larceny, you could be facing up to five years or more in a correctional facility. There are also hefty fines associated with felony charges, so either way, it’s important to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible about your case. Other potential charges or weapons could also tack on additional years to your sentence if convicted.
What if You Were Falsely Accused or Identified?
Since pickpocketing crimes can very often involve falsely identified suspects, it’s important to have a lawyer on your side as soon as possible after an arrest. Many pickpocket jobs are so smooth, it can be minutes or hours before a victim even knows his or her wallet is missing. Once that person does realize they’ve been pickpocketed, they’re likely to identify the closest strangers to them as potential perpetrators. In all likelihood, the real perpetrator is long gone and spending the cash. These cases can be difficult, because there are highly charged emotional reactions to being pickpocketed, and understandably so, but being falsely accused or misidentified as a criminal is never okay. Even an arrest can be a black mark on your record, whether you’re convicted or cleared of charges.
When to Call a Jackson Criminal Defense Lawyer
Pickpocketing charges shouldn’t be taken lightly. Although these charges don’t sound as serious as other charges involving violent crime, they can still have a very serious impact on your future, your record and your ability to get on with your life after an arrest. If you’re facing pickpocketing charges or if you’ve been arrested on suspicion of pickpocketing, you need to speak with a criminal defense lawyer about your case immediately. If you or somebody you love is facing pickpocketing charges in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact the skilled and experienced team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation.