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Shoplifting defenses start with knowing the penalties

In our previous blog post, we discussed how underwear thefts are being linked to drugs. That post brings up the lengths that some people will go to in order to get money for drugs. It also brings up the issue of shoplifting.

In a shoplifting case, there are two main elements that have to be met. The first is that an item for sale has to be willfully taken or concealed. The second is that the person who took the item had to have done so with the intent to deprive the owner of the item without receiving payment for the item.

One aspect of getting your defense ready is that you have to understand the possible penalties that you are facing. This gives you a starting point so you can decide how to handle your case. In the case of a petty larceny charge, which means the item or items taken were worth less than $200 and no violence was used, a jail sentence of up to 12 months is possible. Grand larceny, which means more than $200 worth of items was taken or violence was used, carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Shoplifting is a criminal act that can lead to time in jail. Even though it is a serious charge, shoplifting is often a cry for help. We know that some people who shoplift aren't trying to cause trouble. Some are trying to support a drug habit or trying to get items they need to live. While we can't promise you that you won't face any penalties in your case, we can promise you that we will fight for your rights throughout the case.

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.
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