SA Shoplifting and Summons to Court - What to Do?

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Shawsie64

Active Member
15 February 2016
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31
Hi everyone,

Last week after paying for all of her other shopping & being stressed about being on time to pick up the kids from their first day of high school, my wife accidentally shoplifted a few cans of spam and 2 sets of cheap headphones (small items that fell to the bottom of trolley). She was detained by the store detectives after she walked out of Woolworths and was taken to a storeroom where the police were called and told she would be charged with shoplifting. After realising what was happening, (English is her second language) she said she’ll pay for the goods she ‘stole’ which she did ($80 in total).

She has just received a phone call from the police telling her as she has no other convictions, her summons will be March 6th so she isn’t left waiting forever. She is 36 years old and has never had a criminal record or even a speeding fine. She is terrified this will affect her registration to university to become a registered nurse.

My question is: Is it worth getting a lawyer for this? We have kept the receipt for her shopping paid for on the day, both the goods she bought and the goods she ‘stole’ and can provide a complete history of paying in full for all shopping she has done over the 8 years she has been in the country. Personally, I feel this is a trifling matter though the courts understandably may not as they don’t know her like I do.

Thanks for taking the time to read, any help would be appreciated.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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Nurses occupy a position of trust.

I'd be defending the charge with a lawyer. Theft offences are not a good look for certain occupations.
 

Shawsie64

Active Member
15 February 2016
5
0
31
Nurses occupy a position of trust.

I'd be defending the charge with a lawyer. Theft offences are not a good look for certain occupations.

Thanks Rod for the help. I’ll contact my lawyer then. Hopefully, she can get a penalty with no conviction recorded at the very least, though even with that outcome, I’d be unhappy due to the circumstances of what actually happened.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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676
2,894
She should be looking to get a section 10 bond with no conviction. But a solicitor will be more able to make that happen. It will probably cost a few grand, but in the long-term, money well spent.
 

Shawsie64

Active Member
15 February 2016
5
0
31
She should be looking to get a section 10 bond with no conviction. But a solicitor will be more able to make that happen. It will probably cost a few grand, but in the long-term, money well spent.

Thanks Sammy, I think a lawyer would definitely be worth it. I’ll ask him about a section 10 dismissal possibility. I’ll be preparing receipts/bank statements that show she always pays for her shopping, preparing character witnesses and providing the lawyer with the circumstances that prove it was a slip of the mind as opposed to intentional stealing.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
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28 April 2014
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Yes, she should get a lawyer.
Understand also that Section 10 bonds, while common for first offences, are not automatic.
 
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TKC

Well-Known Member
12 January 2016
32
11
149
Sydney
Not only are section 10 bonds not automatic, a magistrate will not automatically entertain an argument for one. I have witnessed well-paid lawyers get severely flustered simply by a magistrate arcing up against the advancement of one.

Indeed, advancing any argument in court takes skill and experience, not to mention a placid magistrate (are there still any?) so it should only ever be considered by those who -- in the least -- were second chair on their high school debating team;-)
 

Shawsie64

Active Member
15 February 2016
5
0
31
Thanks, TKC & Tim. We have spoken to a lawyer and our meeting is this Wednesday. She is still a bit nervous as she has to do a criminal history check for her RN placement in UNI SA and is unsure if pending charges show up on the check. Time will tell how the outcome goes but thanks everyone for the help.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
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There are online services where, for a fee, you can run a check on yourself.
Many of them come back quite quickly.
 

l Quinn

Member
16 November 2016
1
0
1
Hi everyone,

Last week after paying for all of her other shopping & being stressed about being on time to pick up the kids from their first day of high school, my wife accidentally shoplifted a few cans of spam and 2 sets of cheap headphones (small items that fell to the bottom of trolley). She was detained by the store detectives after she walked out of Woolworths and was taken to a storeroom where the police were called and told she would be charged with shoplifting. After realising what was happening, (English is her second language) she said she’ll pay for the goods she ‘stole’ which she did ($80 in total).

She has just received a phone call from the police telling her as she has no other convictions, her summons will be March 6th so she isn’t left waiting forever. She is 36 years old and has never had a criminal record or even a speeding fine. She is terrified this will affect her registration to university to become a registered nurse.

My question is: Is it worth getting a lawyer for this? We have kept the receipt for her shopping paid for on the day, both the goods she bought and the goods she ‘stole’ and can provide a complete history of paying in full for all shopping she has done over the 8 years she has been in the country. Personally, I feel this is a trifling matter though the courts understandably may not as they don’t know her like I do.

Thanks for taking the time to read, any help would be appreciated.

Which woolworths was this at?