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Police find goods stolen from Portland airport

People may think that misdemeanor charges like shoplifting are not a big deal. However, even simple theft charges can carry penalties and affect a person's future.

Recently, two individuals were arrested in Vancouver for allegedly stealing items from the Portland International Airport. According to authorities, police searched a home and found six bags and other items that were stolen. Police alleged that the people had been involved in 15 cases of theft at the airport since May 2012.

Sometimes, police investigations into misdemeanor crimes can lead to additional more serious charges. This proved true in this case. Here, during the sting, one person was arrested on unrelated misdemeanor charges for violating a conditional release. Another person was arrested and charged with felony identity theft. In both cases, serious penalties could follow. Two other individuals were arrested in the house where the stolen goods were found, however, they were later released.

Criminal charges, even misdemeanor charges, can go on a person's criminal record. Having a criminal record can negatively impact a person's reputation in the community. It can make it difficult to obtain certain jobs, limit educational opportunities and may affect where a person can live or socialize. In addition to these social effects, those charged with misdemeanors can be sentenced to up to a year in jail. They may also face thousands of dollars in fines.

With the right criminal defense, these penalties can be mitigated. Even with misdemeanor charges, people have constitutional rights that need to be protected and upheld throughout the criminal proceedings. Part of a good criminal defense will be to ensure that these rights are used to the defendant's advantage.

Source: The Oregonian, "Luggage, other items allegedly stolen from Portland International Airport found in Vancouver home," Everton Bailey Jr., Jan. 8, 2013

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