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Shoplifting and Its Consequences


What is Shoplifting?

Shoplifting is classified as an act of larceny or theft that takes place in a commercial setting. This crime takes place in the event that merchandise belonging to a business establishment and available for consumer purchase is stolen or obtained through unlawful means on the part of an individual.

Shoplifting vs. Robbery

The primary difference between Shoplifting and robbery is the means in which stolen merchandise is attained. In the event of a robbery charge, the latent presences of violence or threats are typical. However, in the event of a Shoplifting charge, the individual suspected typically steals in a concealed manner.

Shoplifting Offense Profile

Legal Jurisdiction: Criminal Law, Consumer Law, Property Law

Type of Crime: Misdemeanor or Felony – varies upon the nature of the crime

Criminal Code: Varies upon the location of the crime, including the applicable country, nation, state, or province

Range of Punishment(s): Fines, probation, associated penalties, or incarceration – varies upon case details

Duration of Punishment(s): Varies upon case details

Applicable Punishment(s): Varies upon individual intent, criminal record, criminal history, and the victim(s) involved. In most cases, the value of the stolen merchandise recovered is corollary to the punitive recourse applicable to a Shoplifting conviction.

Shoplifting Allegations: Terminology and Associated Offenses

The following are commonly associated with charges of Shoplifting:

Retail: A commercial establishment that sells products or services available for consumer purchase.

Shoplifter: An individual participating in the act of Shoplifting.

Security Cameras: The obvious or hidden presence of surveillance cameras monitoring the behavior, activity, and events taking place in a specific location. Security cameras can be used to monitor shoppers from a variation of vantage points in order to apprehend Shoplifting.

The Shoplifting Arrest Process

In the event that the prospect exists in which an individual is at risk for or has been arrested as a result of a Shoplifting charge, it is of the utmost importance that they are aware and mindful of the basic legality associated with the criminal justice system. Individuals who have been served documentation in the form of an arrest warrant displaying a Shoplifting charge, or have been arrested by law enforcement, are encouraged to cooperate with the arresting officers regardless of personal belief with regard to the charges.

Individuals under arrest will be given the opportunity to consult with legal specialists subsequent to the arrest process. Resisting or fleeing from a Shoplifting arrest can result in harm, injury, and additional penalties. Upon arrest, an individual should be made aware of the following in order to prevent any further complication(s):

Due Process

Habeas Corpus

The Presumption of Innocence

Miranda Rights

The right to remain silent

The right for any words spoken during the arrest to be admissible during a trial

The right to consult with an attorney regardless of financial stature

The acknowledgement that the individual arrested for the Shoplifting charge understands the aforementioned rights.

The Preparation of a Shoplifting Defense

In the event that an individual has been arrested on a Shoplifting charge, they are encouraged to observe the behavioral protocol of the arrest process. Individuals are encouraged to consult with attorneys specializing in criminal law and, if possible, those who focus on larceny legality. In the construction of a defense, the individual may be asked to provide the following:

The nature of the Shoplifting charge in question

The value of any or all items shoplifted

Any previous arrests and/or convictions

Evidence and witness testimony

A detailed account of the details surrounding the event in question

The inclusion of the name(s) of individuals involved

The arrangement for bail or bond.

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