When someone has documented mental illness, crimes they commit may seem irrational and unexplainable to those in the judicial system. Often, jail or prison may not be the appropriate place for someone to be if they are facing mental struggles. A recent story about one woman in Colorado describes how she faces four years in prison due to a recent theft charge. Her attorney states that the cause of her actions could be due to her battles with mental illness and diagnosed kleptomania.
According to prosecutors, the woman has several former felony convictions. Three of these were a result of large-value thefts. Information on the other convictions was not available in the article, but authorities claim that the woman has a long history of failed attempts at probation and rehabilitation.
Most recently, the woman was recorded on surveillance cameras in a Colorado jewelry store. She was shown entering into a room in the store, and emerging with an item that appeared to be hidden in her coat. Police allege that this item was a bag of just over $600,000 of LeVian jewelry.
Prior to being taken into custody and ultimately being sent to prison, the woman tearfully apologized and explained that she was addicted to shoplifting. While this is an uncommon reason for someone to commit theft, the fact remains that there are psychological issues that could result in this kind of behavior. Unfortunately, there are many who assume guilt regardless of the evidence for or against a person. As a result, many people in Colorado utilize an experienced defense attorney to advise them and ensure lawful treatment throughout criminal proceedings. By having such a person on their side, defendants charged with felonies are able to better understand the proceedings and the potential consequences of the decisions they make regarding the direction of their case.
Source: gazette.com, “Colorado Springs woman ‘addicted to shoplifting’ sentenced to 4 years in prison“, Lance Benzel, June 1, 2016