Shoplifting in is a crime of theft that could have a variety of possible punishments.
A suspected shoplifter is generally approached and detained by store security immediately after being observed taking merchandise from the business without paying for it.
A commonly asked question by people charged with the offense is exactly what are the potential effects and just how are they going to be dealt with by the criminal justice system and the Court.
The actual reply to that question depends upon what actions are done by the arrested shoplifter right after the event.
If the person becomes proactive and seeks the help of a lawyer, the outcome can, and frequently will be very different from those who did nothing and buried their head in the sand hoping it will all go away.
As a criminal defense attorney defending clients charged with shoplifting and theft for many years, our offices have the direct knowledge and experience to resolve these kinds of particularly embarrassing cases and work towards obtaining a disposition that, in many cases, doesn’t result in a criminal conviction that could haunt an individual for the rest of their lives.
Sadly, many folks make the crucial blunder of listening to friends who happen to be arrested or so-called specialists they met in prison, and other non-legal professionals who tell them to save lots of their money and go to Court and plead no contest for probation.
The long lasting effects of this mistake can be devastating.
Companies are more and more doing thorough criminal records investigations on potential employees and look at a shoplifting conviction to be a major act of dishonesty, justifying the rejection of employment.
A criminal defense attorney who knows the local customs and practices of the Court can often discover an alternative to a criminal conviction, for instance:
civil compromise with the store, informal diversion, city attorney alternative disposition, conditional dismissal, infraction adjudications, reductions to non-theft offenses, dismissals due to insufficiency of the evidence, are all methods that can be utilized in a shoplifting case to reduce the result.
Our firm aims to find ways to aid our clients avoid a long lasting scar on their record when cited or charged for shoplifting.
For instance, in situations involving second time offenders, in case retained right after the event, theft charges could be fixed by implementing a counseling plan with recognized providers.
Additionally, we will certainly go to Court for the client if necessary, sparing our unnerved clients the humiliation of a public appearance before a Judge in an open Court of Law.
A frequently asked question concerning a shoplifting arrest is whether the District Attorney must have a videotape of the act in order to convict in Court.
The simple response to that question is no. A shoplifting case usually involves observations by loss prevention officers, other eyewitnesses and admissions and possible confessions by the accused.
The good news is the fact that a seasoned attorney can often punch significant openings in the case to raise reasonable doubt in an effort to either get the charges lowered or dismissed in most cases.
When considering an lawyer to protect you on a shoplifting case it is important to find who has a history of good results.
Our firm has this kind of history. What is very important in all shoplifting cases is getting a defense attorney as soon as the person is released from custody.
Our firm tries to initiate speak to with store counsel in many cases and work out what some refer to as a “civil compromise” in which the client pays statutory civil penalties and costs to the victim in exchange for a commitment not to seek criminal prosecution.
Speak to our office directly today for a no cost consultation about your shoplifting case.
Our fees are affordable and we will deal with the case personally, restricting the need of having to go over the situation with non-lawyers like paralegals and legal assistants.
Although the term “shoplifting” often creates images of youngsters stealing bubblegum and candy from the neighborhood convenience store, the truth is, the offense bears with it heavy penalties.
Those arrested for shoplifting in face charges ranging from a disorderly persons offense up to an indictment for a second degree crime, and calls for in our wisdom.
Each and every attorney at our Law Firm is prepared to protect you from these kinds of serious claims.
Our law firm takes care of shoplifting cases in and statewide.
The attorneys at our Law Firm will insure that your interests are secured every step of the way.
Speak to us right away for a zero cost consultation.
Shoplifting shall include any one or more of the following acts:
- For any person purposely to take possession of, take away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred, any items displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or some other retail mercantile establishment together with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such products or converting the same to the use of such individual without paying to the merchant the full retail value thereof.
- For any person deliberately to conceal upon his person or otherwise any goods presented for sale by any store or any other retail mercantile establishment with the aim of depriving the merchant of the processes, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the value thereof.
- For any person intentionally to alter, transfer or take away any label, price tag or marking indicia of value or other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment and to attempt to purchase such products personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value thereof.
- For any individual purposely to transfer any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail goods establishment from the container in or on which the same shall be displayed to any other container with intent to deprive the merchant of all or some part of the retail value thereof.
- For any person purposely to under-ring with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value thereof.
- For any person purposely to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a store or other retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such cart.
Additional information on shoplifting.
It is worth noting that an individual can only be punished for this offense if he/she acted with purpose, meaning that there must be some intention on the part of the defendant to take without paying.
Nevertheless, the state can easily satisfy its burden of proof by showing that the defendant intentionally concealed the items, which is certainly prima facie proof of the intent to completely deprive.
Nonetheless, this intention requirement generally provides fertile ground for defense strategies.
A person has committed a shoplifting offense if he/she, (1) takes or carries away merchandise offered for sale, (2) hides or conceals merchandise, (3) switches or adjusts price tags, (4) transfers goods from one container to another, (5) under-rings at the register, or (6) gets rid of a shopping cart belonging to the store.
Most commonly, a person is detained before leaving the establishment and accused of hiding or concealing products.
A law enforcement office may detain a shoplifting suspect for a reasonable period of time and in a reasonable manner upon having probable cause to believe that the suspect “willfully concealed un-purchased merchandise.”
Furthermore, the officer have to believe that “he could retrieve the merchandise by having the individual into custody.”
Whether or not the detention was acceptable is a ruling to be made by the court.
If the court discovers that the officer effectuating the detention did not act reasonably, criminal and/or civil charges might result.
A attorney from our law firm will make sure that the prosecution fulfills its burden of proof and, if he does not, the case is terminated and/or decreased.
Mandatory Jail and Mandatory Community Service Penalties
For most states, the shoplifting statute mandates community service for a first offense, second offense and third offense. Just for the first offense, the defendant must carry out ten days of community service.
For the second offense, 15 days of community service, and for the third or subsequent offense, a maximum of 25 days may be required.
Furthermore, if you are determined guilty of a third offense, you will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of 3 months jail time.
It is important to remember however, that the accused could be exposed to imprisonment on a first offense or second offense if an indictable shoplifting offense is involved.
If someone is indicted for a fourth degree, third degree, or higher offense, in that case the sentencing and jail provisions within the criminal code will now apply.
Because of the effects connected with accumulating shoplifting convictions, as well as the jail involved with indictable offenses, it really is of utmost importance that you seek the services of a criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid the many pitfalls that revolve around this area of the law.
Every single lawyer at our law firm is knowledgeable in taking on shoplifting charges in .