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Oregon basketball players charged with shoplifting

The criminal code applies to everyone in Oregon -- regular people and the well-recognized, the rich and the poor. If people are caught breaking the law, Oregon police can make arrests and prosecutors can seek punishments. The law does not recognize distinctions between people, and therefore, all criminal charges need to be taken seriously.

Recently, two men were arrested for shoplifting at a convenience store outside the Matthew Knight Arena on the University of Oregon campus. The two are returning players to the University's basketball team. According to reports, the men were caught with stolen goods worth less than $100 at around 3:00 p.m.

Following the incident, reports say that the men were arrested and charged with a Class C misdemeanor -- theft in the third degree. The university says that the men received immediate discipline following their arrest. However, they are awaiting a court date to resolve the criminal charges.

Those accused of shoplifting -- even small items -- can face serious penalties. People can be sentenced to fines, jail time, probation, community service and other penalties if convicted. This conviction can affect a person's employment, housing and schooling opportunities. Furthermore, the penalties for any future arrests may be increased because of a prior criminal record.

People accused of misdemeanor charges, like the men in this case, should understand their legal rights and take the charges seriously. A criminal defense strategy should be implemented even though the charges are not as serious as felony crimes. People should understand that it is possible to reduce the charges they face with the right help. In some cases, it may even be possible to avoid conviction altogether.

Source: NBC Sports, "Two Oregon players cited for shoplifting," Scott Phillips, Oct. 5, 2014

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