My client was charged with shoplifting. The event occurred almost one year ago. At the time of the event neither the store security nor the police apprehended the actual shoplifters in the act. A video was taken of the perpetrators but they were unknown to store security. In the interim an unknown informant claimed that they knew who the shoplifters were and accused my client. Felony theft charges followed which were very disturbing to my client.
My client hired me and as is normal practice I requested discovery from the prosecution. Discovery is certain information about the case that the prosecution must turn over to the defense. Certain information must be turned over without request such as information which would tend to exculpate the defendant. The prosecution cannot sit on information which shows the defendant to be innocent. Other information is only turned over upon request. I requested all possible information.
In the information provided there were police reports. In the police reports there were descriptions of the various offenders. They named my client and described my client. What was interesting is that they describe my client with long hair braided in an intricate manner. My client has had a shaved head since a long time before the alleged shoplifting.
The prosecution had no evidence that my client took the items, there was no confession from my client and the physical description did not match. I pointed out these various problems to the prosecutor and the charges were finally dropped.
If you are charged with a crime, hire your attorney as early as you reasonably can. That will give the attorney a chance to obtain the discovery and have enough time to carefully review the evidence that the prosecution possesses. In this particular case the prosecution's evidence against my client was consistent with not guilty.