Facing Shoplifting Charges? What You Need To Know To Defend Yourself

Law Blog

The way that shoplifting is charged varies based on the value of the items in question. The more valuable the items, the more severe the charge that you will face. Despite that difference, there are some things that remain very similar no matter how severe the shoplifting may be. For example, the defenses against a shoplifting charge are fairly consistent across the board. Here's a look at some of the defense options you should discuss with your criminal law attorney.

You Never Meant To Conceal Anything

In order to prove that you were actually shoplifting the item in question, the prosecution needs to prove that you willfully and deliberately concealed the item. If you can dispute that fact in any way, or cast doubt on it at the very least, you may be able to defeat the charge.

For example, if you place something in your cart, then later take your coat off and put it in the cart, covering the item inadvertently, you may miss that item when you cash out in the store. In a situation like that, you can explain what happened and that it was an honest mistake.

You Intended To Pay For It

If you buy multiples of an item, go through a self-checkout to scan them, and don't scan all of them, you may be stopped for shoplifting as a result of the item or items that you didn't pay for. In that case, you'll have to make a case for your intent to pay for the items. 

Your defense attorney may argue that, since you paid for the rest of them, you simply miscounted and shorted the payment unintentionally. A simple math error could easily be enough to cast doubt on the charge.

You Didn't Leave The Store

Another key component of a shoplifting charge is proving that you intended to leave the store with the item. That means that, if you were picked up in the middle of the store, or before you cashed out, your attorney can make the argument that you never intended to leave the store with the item. Whether the argument is that you weren't done shopping or that you were on your way to the checkout, your attorney can cast doubt on the claim that you were going to leave the store without paying for the item.

Talk with a criminal defense attorney about your potential shoplifting charge. They can help you explore the details and develop a strong defense.


20 January 2021

Choosing To Fight

Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.