Law expert Graham Edgeler on the factors that will decide whether Golriz Ghahraman keeps her job as Green MP

Sitting Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is yet to front the two shoplifting allegations levelled against her and a legal expert says the stakes are high.   

With criminal charges possible, the question has become, will Ghahraman keep her job?  

Kiri Allan was the MP most recently in trouble with the law, resigning from her seat after charges of careless use of a motor vehicle and refusing to accompany an enforcement officer, which she denied.  

Legal expert Graeme Edgeler told Newshub one politician whose political career survived criminal charges was former Minister Ruth Dyson.

"She got in trouble for drink driving and got a conviction, but it was her first drink driving offence, so she was stood down as a minister but did not lose her seat in Parliament," he said.  

Edgeler said, if an MP is convicted of an offence for which the maximum penalty is two or more years in prison, their seat in Parliament is automatically vacated.  

"The court lets Parliament know, the Parliament will let the Speaker know, and the Speaker will announce this seat has been vacated," he explained.  

Should Ghahraman be charged for shoplifting, the possible penalty for the allegations against her depends on the value of the items allegedly stolen.  

"A conviction for theft of something over a thousand dollars, would be serious enough to vacate an MP's seat in Parliament," Edgeler said.  

If Ghahraman is required to leave Parliament, next on the Greens' list is former Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who didn't answer Newshub's calls today.  

Scotties Boutique has continually declined to comment on the allegations.  

It's been six days since the shoplifting allegations surfaced.  

Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson said last week they wanted to speak with Ghahraman before commenting further on the allegations.