More and more store owners are taking shoplifting charges seriously and pursue these charges strongly. Many large chain stores have loss prevention officers that are private security personnel employed by the store who watch the stores video cameras to catch shoplifters in the act. The typical scenario is that the Loss Prevention Officer will physically stop you from leaving the scene and take you into a room where they question you and tell you they have you on camera trying to leave the store without paying for certain goods. They don’t read you your Miranda warnings and start telling you to tell them the truth and everything will be alright. Believing them, you admit to the crime and the police arrive anyway and you are arrested. Call a Charleston shoplifting defense attorney to get help.
What is Shoplifting?
Past the point of sale: Many people are surprised to learn that you don’t have to leave the store to be charged with shoplifting. If you take an item past the point of sale, cash register, and do not pay for it you can be charged with shoplifting even though you have not left the store.
Switching the price tag: changing the price tag on an item, usually for a cheaper price, and then trying to buy that item at the discounted price can result in a shoplifting arrest. In this case means you don’t even need to pass the point of sale to be charged, just the fact that you altered the price tag deliberately can get you arrested.
What are the Penalties for Shoplifting?
|Goods valued under $2,000||Misdemeanor||0-30 days jail and/or $0-1-000 fine|
|Goods valued between $2,000 – $10,00||Misdemeanor||0-5 yrs. jail and/or $0-$1,000 fine|
|Goods valued more than $10,00||Felony||0-10 yrs. jail|
Will I have a criminal Record?
Shoplifting is a criminal offense and if you are convicted you will have a criminal record. Depending on the case and facts, there can be the very real danger of serving jail time for shoplifting as well, especially if it is not your first offense. That’s why it’s important to call a Charleston shoplifting defense attorney to defend your case.
What if the Store gets the Goods back?
On most occasions the store will still prosecute the case even if they get the goods back unopened and they can simply place it back on the shelves to sell it again. Additionally, you will most likely be placed on trespass notice and will be prohibited from entering that particular store again.
Call a Charleston Shoplifting Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for shoplifting then you most likely have a court date very soon, oftentimes within weeks of the arrest. Contact a Charleston criminal defense attorney at the Dale Savage Law Firm (843) 530-7813 to discuss your options and possible defenses. The consultation is free and all discussions are confidential.