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American Institute Of Criminal Law Attorneys

Have You Been Accused or Charged of Shoplifting?

Apr 12, 2017. By William Kroger.

If you have been accused or charged of shoplifting, you will need a criminal defense attorney on your side. Shoplifting is a crime, whether it's considered a felony or misdemeanor, and it is the most common crime in California.

Why Do People Shoplift?

Shoplifting occurs when someone steals something from a store or other retail business. Whether you're taking something as small as a bag of chips or a pack of gum, stealing something of significant value like a pair of shoes from a department store, it is considered the same crime. Shoplifting results in billions of losses for businesses every year.

Some people make a business out of shoplifting, and steal items in order to resell for a profit. Others have a compulsion to steal, and take things because they can't resist the need to do so. Whatever the reason, if you are caught or charged with shoplifting, you may be facing serious repercussions and will definitely need a criminal defense lawyer to represent your case.

In unfortunate cases, some shoplifters take things they shouldn't simply out of need. They may not have the funds to afford food or clothing or other necessities, and resort to shoplifting as a last-minute effort to survive.

Security Against Shoplifters

Many stores set up precautions and security to catch would-be shoplifters. Some stores have installed security cameras in various places throughout the store that can easily spot where shoplifters might choose to commit their crime. Stores also have undercover security dressed like other shoppers who walk around the store and secretly watch for shoplifters. As a result, it is much more difficult to shoplift successfully, and the chances of being caught and penalized are high.

Teenagers and adolescents make up a large percentage of shoplifters, but adults are more adept at stealing higher-priced items. The more value the object, the higher the repercussions will be once you are caught shoplifting.

Stores will usually detain a person they suspect of shoplifting. If the implications turn out to be true, the shoplifter will be arrested. Depending on the value of the item stolen, the shoplifter can face up to six months in jail. It is important at this point to seek legal help from a criminal defense attorney who can defend your rights and negotiate on your behalf. Talk to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are able to in order to protect your case and increase your chances of a light sentence.

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