The crime of shoplifting—also commonly known as “retail theft” in Lake Mary—might seem like a minor offense. However, these small thefts add up, resulting in billions of dollars in annual losses nationwide. Because of this, prosecutors often aggressively pursue convictions in these cases.
When you are facing shoplifting charges, it is important to have a clear and effective defense strategy. Putting your trust in the hands of a qualified theft attorney might be your best chance at avoiding a conviction. Reach out to a Lake Mary shoplifting lawyer right away to discuss your defense. Some individuals are even charged with shoplifting without having been arrested for the crime, so it is important to get legal help quickly.
In general, the offense of shoplifting involves taking merchandise from a retail store without paying. However, the specifics of this offense are broad. It is possible to be convicted of shoplifting for stealing merchandise, property, or money from a retail store. Alternatively, this offense can involve altering or removing labels in an effort to defraud the business.
The penalties associated with a shoplifting conviction are based on the value of the item allegedly stolen. When it comes to merchandise worth less than $100, a conviction will result in no more than 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. As the value of the merchandise goes up, the penalties become steeper. At the highest level, a shoplifting conviction could result in a five-year prison sentence.
It is important to keep in mind that these penalties only become a reality following a conviction. With the help of a Lake Mary shoplifting attorney, it could be possible to beat these charges and avoid a conviction.
In many cases, a strong defense strategy could result in acquittal at trial or even the dismissal of the charges entirely. The defense a person uses will need to be determined with the assistance of their lawyer.
Not every shoplifting case is the same. For that reason, there is no single approach that works in every shoplifting case. One of the most important ways a Lake Mary shoplifting attorney could help is by identifying the strongest possible defense strategy for a particular case.
A lack of evidence is one of the strongest possible defenses to a shoplifting charge. The state has the burden of proof in theses cases, and if there is not enough evidence to prove guilt, they may be forced to dismiss the charge.
The police are not immune from making mistakes. In some cases, the police will mistakenly arrest the wrong person after allegations of shoplifting are made. Despite these potential mistakes, some prosecutors choose to pursue charges against the wrongfully accused anyway. An attorney could help show that someone else was responsible for the offense.
Shoplifting is a crime of intent. That means an accidental or mistaken taking of property from a retail store does not qualify as a crime. It is not uncommon for a person to absentmindedly walk out of a store with merchandise in their hand. While this kind of mistake is not shoplifting, it often results in criminal charges.
If you are currently facing shoplifting charges, it could be in your best interest to speak with a reliable defense attorney. The right attorney could help you build a winning defense strategy. Contact our office and talk to a Lake Mary shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible to get started.
Orlando Criminal Lawyer | Defense Attorney | Charged with a Crime