While the charge may seem minor, it is a theft related charge. A conviction represents a lifelong criminal record. It can also brand the person as an untrustworthy “thief” in the eye of future employment and decision makers.
Defending against shoplifting charges
When it comes to shoplifting and unlawful concealment charges, the severity of such charges is largely determined by the monetary value of the merchandise in question. For example, there is a big difference between being accused of stealing a $10 cosmetic or a $1000 leather purse.
When evaluating your case and determining the best defense strategy, your attorney will closely examine and consider several factors, including:
- Intent — When checking out, items in a cart may be unintentionally forgotten or can become entangled.
- Witnesses — The observations of store staff members may be unreliable and intent may be difficult to judge based on grainy camera footage.
- Mitigating factors — Were you feeling ill or experiencing some sort of mental lapse?
Your attorney will take these and other factors into account to build a defense strategy with the goal of getting criminal charges dismissed or a sentence reduced or deferred.
Learn more about how a criminal defense attorney can help you
The penalties associated with a shoplifting charge may include fines, probation and community service. Additionally the damage to your reputation and personal relationships can have significant and far-reaching consequences that are often more difficult to quantify.
Do not plead guilty to a shoplifting criminal charge before talking to an attorney. Call our Gastonia law office today at 704-671-2390 or contact us online today.