Shoplifting is a common crime, and many people get away with it each day. Shoplifting is one cause for increased prices in stores, so this is an issue that impacts everybody. If you are caught shoplifting, you could face high penalties, including doing time in jail and paying monetary fines. In some cases, the individual charged with shoplifting could also face civil fines associated with stolen merchandise.
If you are facing shoplifting charges, you may have a lot of questions. This guide will help you determine your next steps.
Shoplifting May Be More Common Than You Think
Many people get away with shoplifting because stores may not have enough security to catch individuals who participate in this behavior. When people do get caught, it may seem as if shoplifting is rare because it is not talked about much. You are not the only one facing serious charges.
Shoplifting charges include the intentional concealment of an item available for sale. Additionally, shoplifting involves the desire to deprive the owner of that item from its use permanently.
Fortunately, you can create a defense against shoplifting charges. One common defense is simply that you did not commit the crime. Perhaps it is a case of mistaken identity, and maybe you were not even in the store in the first place.
Or your attorney may argue based on the definition of shoplifting. Since shoplifting requires the intentional concealment of an item, your attorney may argue that you did not intentionally take the item. Perhaps it fell into your bag or maybe you were simply putting the item in a pocket until you could take it to a register, and then you simply forgot you had it.
Additionally, some shoplifting cases have no tangible evidence like photos or videos. Rather, these cases may rely on witness statements. Your attorney can argue that the witnesses are mistaken or that they are not telling the truth about what they saw. Bringing reasonable doubt to the witness statements helps the jury see that you may not be guilty.
You Need to Fight Shoplifting Charges with an Attorney
If you want to protect your rights, you need to hire an attorney. A criminal defense attorney helps you stay out of jail. Even if you are found guilty of a crime, you may be able to avoid going behind bars at all because your attorney can help create a strong defense.
Reach out to a criminal defense law office for more information or assistance.