The Lowdown On Shoplifting
Many people don’t take shoplifting charges seriously, but you have every reason to. A shoplifting charge may or may not cause incarceration. However, you will deal with fines, mandatory community service, and a permanent criminal record. If you are charged with shoplifting, don’t wait to hire an attorney. Here’s how your lawyer might challenge the charges against you.
No Intent to Steal
A primary element a prosecutor must prove in a shoplifting case is that the defendant intended to take the items. Many people actually forget to pay when they leave a store. Or, if they realized they forgot to pay for an item, they may try to return it. If the defendant had no intent to steal, then it logically follows that no crime actually took place.
Many shoplifting cases rely on video footage of the plaintiff taking items from a store. However, surveillance footage is often grainy and it can be difficult to make out specific facial features or other identifying marks that would make it possible to match the person in the video to the plaintiff beyond the shadow of a doubt. While this defense may not always be applicable, it sometimes proves useful if a defense attorney believes they can make the jury question who was really in the video.
Discounting Witness Statements
If no video footage is available, many prosecutors will attempt to call witnesses who will say that they saw the plaintiff take items from the store. However, witness statements can often be discredited for a variety of reasons. In fact, a witness with poor vision may be considered unreliable, or there may be a witness who stands to gain something from pointing the finger at the defendant.
Take Shoplifting Charges Seriously — Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
Don’t let shoplifting charges change your life and make it more difficult for you to get a job, obtain credit, or even rent an apartment. If you’ve been arrested for shoplifting, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can defend you and increase the chances that the charges against you will be reduced or dismissed entirely.
Contact Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq. at Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense today for a consultation by calling 954-400-5000.