Orlando Self-Checkout Line Theft Lawyer

As self-checkouts have become more and more common in stores across the Sunshine State, retail corporations have massively stepped up their efforts to identify and catch shoplifters trying to abuse these systems. They use old-fashioned security measures, like surveillance cameras and random employee checks, as well as more high-tech approaches like security tags and weight sensors.

However, this view towards what is usually petit theft often leads to intentional offenders being prosecuted harshly and people who just made innocent mistakes getting caught up in it by accident.

When you are facing criminal charges over allegedly stealing goods through misuse or abuse of a self-checkout kiosk, you should strongly consider contacting a theft defense attorney with experience handling shoplifting charges. An Orlando self-checkout line theft lawyer could help you contest those charges in or out of court, and minimize the consequences you may face in the event of a conviction.

What Counts as “Theft” in the Self-Checkout Line?

Most people think of retail theft as a fairly brazen act that involves someone snatching an item off the shelf and running for the exit. In reality, though, there are all kinds of subtle ways someone can commit theft as defined by Florida state law by not using a self-checkout kiosk as intended, such as:

  • Failing to scan an item before bagging it
  • Switching the bar code on an item for one matching a cheaper item
  • Ringing up an item as a different cheaper item
  • False bagging
  • Intentionally distracting store employees
  • Colluding directly with employees to take items without paying
  • Exploiting technical weaknesses or glitches in the self-checkout system
  • Return fraud

Regardless of the exact method used, retail stores tend to act quickly and decisively when they suspect someone of committing theft in the self-checkout line, often pulling them aside before they leave and threatening to call the police. Importantly, the store does not necessarily have to prove an intent to steal in order to get someone charged with retail theft. Just showing that someone concealed an item on their person or bagged something without scanning it could be enough, and requires help from an Orlando self-checkout line theft attorney.

Fighting Back Against Self-Checkout Shoplifting Allegations

Depending on whether the merchandise allegedly taken was valued below or above $750 in total, a single accusation of self-checkout line theft could be prosecuted as misdemeanor petit theft. This is punishable by a maximum one-year jail term or felony grand theft punishable by up to five years of prison time.

Either way, a court can only convict someone on theft charges if the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to take the merchandise without paying.

With that in mind, there are lots of ways to challenge a store’s assertion that an act of self-checkout line theft in Orlando was intentional. That may include establishing that the defendant scanned most of their items correctly and offered to pay for the ones they missed, or showing they have no prior history of shoplifting or were pressured into signing a falsified admission of guilt. A qualified criminal defense lawyer could discuss possible defense strategies in more detail during a private consultation.

Get in Touch With an Orlando Self-Checkout Line Theft Attorney Today

If a store can afford to install self-checkout kiosks, their parent company can almost certainly afford to press shoplifting charges against anyone they think has used those kiosks to steal from them. Loss prevention employees tend to be intimidating when they enforce those laws too, including when someone has just made an honest mistake. Shoplifting incidents do not always lead to an arrest in the moment but charges can still occur.

Fortunately, you have help available from an Orlando self-checkout line theft lawyer who knows how to fight effectively against these allegations. Self-scanning areas in grocery stores are a place where someone can make an easy mistake. Call today to learn more about how you can handle this charge.

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    Orlando Self-Checkout Line Theft Lawyer