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A look at shoplifting charges and how to defend against them

The consequences and penalties that arise from shoplifting accusations and charges can be serious. In general, shoplifting is the theft of merchandise from a store or business establishment. Shoplifting is a larceny crime which refers to taking another's property without their permission and with the intent to deprive them of the property.

Though a theft crime, many states have shoplifting statutes that specifically punish the crime of shoplifting. To have committed the crime of shoplifting, the accused party typically must have willfully concealed or taken possession of an item offered for sale with the intent to deny the rightful owner of possession of the item without paying the purchase price of the item.

Penalties for shoplifting commonly depend on the amount of the items shoplifted. Shoplifting charges can range from infractions to misdemeanors or felony charges. Penalties can include fines, probation or jail time depending on the severity of the charge. It is important to be familiar with the specific definition of a crime an individual has been charged with and the potential penalties associated with the crime. Criminal defense strategies can help respond to the specific charge the accused individual is facing and help them defend against it.

An important element of the criminal justice process is the right of each accused individual to defend against criminal charges they are facing. Defenses may be based on a range of considerations including improper police procedures, inaccurate representation of the facts or other important considerations it is important for each individual accused of a crime to be familiar with and understand how to utilize.

Source: Criminal.Findlaw.com, "Shoplifting," Accessed Feb. 2, 2016

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