Can you be prosecuted for shoplifting Months later?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can you be prosecuted for shoplifting Months later?

My friend is in a relationship with a man who
encouraged her to shoplift. It has been months since
the last time she did it, but he has messages that
said she did. He is threatening to turn her in if she
leaves him and she is terrified

Asked on February 13, 2019 under Criminal Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be. The "statute of limitations," or time period during which charges may be brought for a misdeamor like most shoplifting is two years in your state (IN). That means that charges may be brought against her any time within 2 years of when she shoplifted. Of course, that means that she could also turn him in for shoplifting--even if he did not do it himself, if he can be shown to have encouraged or directed her or helped plan it, he may be charged as an accomplice, and possibly also with receving stolen goods (the shoplifted items). It is likely they each have threats of disclosure against the other.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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