How to Challenge Charges of Shoplifting


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 the 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.

Mistaken Identity

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.

Were You Arrested For Shoplifting?

Here’s What You Need To Know About Shoplifting Charges

Shoplifting may not seem like a serious charge compared to other criminal charges, however, if you were arrested for Shoplifting, you can rest assured that the arrest will appear on your record as would any other criminal charge. Regardless of how minimal a shoplifting charge may seem, there is potential for jail time, fines and even community service.

In addition, jail time, fines and penalties will be incremental based on the number of charges and charge classifications. Very often, an arrest is accompanied by more than one offense therefore, it is very possible that you could be faced with more charges. Due to the latter, in order to protect yourself and your future, it is important that you speak to a Criminal Defense attorney immediately in order to preserve your name, reputation, and future.

Retail Theft Charges

Shoplifting is a theft crime that is referred to as Retail Theft in the state of Florida.   Retail theft can ultimately be categorized as either Petit Theft or Grand Theft, the latter depends on the value of the stolen property as well as any prior offenses.  Depending on the value of the theft, you could be facing either misdemeanor charges or a felony charge. In addition, you may face probation or up to five years in jail as well as fines and monetary penalties. 

Possible Defenses to Shoplifting Charges:

  • A lapse in judgment: The defendant forgot to pay for the item before leaving the store and did not intend to steal the item.
  • You have the Wrong Guy: The defendant is not the actual person who committed the theft and this is a case of mistaken identity.

Get Help Today

Shoplifting charges can stain your record and reputation and affect your future, employment and as a result, your quality of life.  It is up to you to defend yourself and the best way to do that is to get help from an experienced Criminal Defense attorney.  Contact our office today to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

Contact Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq. at Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense today for a consultation by calling 954-400-5000.