With the value of the gift cards so high jail time is certainly a possibility. However, because it is her first offense she should be able to avoid jail. She will need her attorney to work closely with her to increase the likelihood that she will not have to spend any time in jail.
It will depend on many factors including the ability to make restitution and the jurisdiction of the case. Your friend should hire a lawyer BEFORE she is contacted by the police
Your friend needs to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who is on very familiar working terms with the District Attorney's Office. There are many factors which come into play in determining a sentence, including the lack of any prior record, the willingness to take responsibility and the ability to pay restitution.
I recently handled a similar case. Your friend should hire a criminal defense lawyer and not make any statements to the police if she is arrested.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
She should say nothing to ANYONE about this, including any investigator for the employer or the police.
Jail is a real possibility unless she can pay back the $$
Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.