Shoplifting charges are serious charges which can result in serious penalties, consequences and a criminal record. Though shoplifting charges are usually misdemeanor charges, they should never be taken lightly and any accused individual facing them should understand what to do in response.
In general, shoplifting refers to the theft of merchandise from a store or business. According to the law, larceny, or theft, is the intentional taking of property of another without their permission and with the intent to permanently deprive that party of the property. Shoplifting may be charged according to a theft statute or specifically according to a shoplifting statute, depending on the state, which is why you should be familiar with the laws in your state if you are facing shoplifting charges or have questions about how shoplifting is defined in your state.
It is important to note that under many shoplifting laws, simply concealing merchandise in a store may be considered shoplifting but the accused individual must also have the requisite intent to permanently deprive the property owner of the property. If you have been charged with shoplifting, it may be possible to challenge the charges on that basis or based on other challenges which is why accused individuals should be familiar with their criminal defense rights and options.
The penalties for shoplifting can vary based on the value of the merchandise the accused individual is accused of shoplifting but can include fines or possible jail time. Because of the serious nature of shoplifting charges, it is always important to understand what they are and how to respond to them.