Shoplifting is the act of taking anything from a store, whether it’s something worth hundreds of dollars or just a few cents. A person can be accused and arrested for shoplifting if they leave the store without paying for any item. Anyone who has been arrested and charged with shoplifting will want to make sure they contact a lawyer for help as soon as possible.
Misdemeanor or Felony Charge
Shoplifting can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount that was stolen. A person who is accused of stealing under $1,500 worth of items is likely facing a misdemeanor charge while a person who steals over this amount is facing a felony charge. The accused person could face additional charges as well if there were children involved, if they assaulted anyone while trying to leave the store, or if they used a weapon at any point during the theft.
Minors Involved in Shoplifting
Minors who are arrested for shoplifting face the same charges as adults, but typically in juvenile court. If there is a child with a parent and the parent is accused of shoplifting, they could be facing additional charges because of the minor being with them during the commission of a crime. This is especially true if they convince the child to steal for them.
Minimize the Impact of a Conviction
Shoplifting is a charge that’s going to remain on a person’s record and influence their life. Many employers will not hire someone with a shoplifting charge on their criminal record. Anyone accused of shoplifting, especially if it’s a felony charge or has other charges alongside it, will want to make sure they speak with an attorney quickly.
An attorney will look through the evidence in the case to determine if they can have the charges dismissed or lowered. If this can’t happen, the attorney will work to minimize the sentence a person might receive if they’re convicted.
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting, you are not going to want to take this situation lightly. Take the time to speak with an attorney like Aric Cramer as quickly as possible to ensure you get the help you need to minimize the impact the charge is going to have on your life right now and in the future.