Studies show that many people who shoplift do it for the thrill, not because they actually need the items they’re stealing. This can actually be an impose control disorder and not something the person is consciously trying to do for financial gain. However, if the person is caught, they will be arrested and will face charges for the items they have stolen.
Getting Caught Shoplifting
A person will likely be on the way out of the door when an employee or security guard stops them and detains them until the police arrive. In most instances, stopping a possible shoplifter is going to be legal, but there are limits to what the employee or security guard can do to detain someone. If the person is detained, they can be arrested and charged with shoplifting as soon as the police arrive.
Charges Faced Depend on the Amount of the Theft
The charges the person will face are going to depend on the amount of the items they allegedly stole. If they stole a small item worth a few dollars, they’re likely facing a misdemeanor shoplifting charge. However, if they stole something worth thousands of dollars, such as jewelry or electronics, they will likely be facing a felony shoplifting charge.
Fighting the Charges
The first time a person is arrested and charged with shoplifting, they can work with an attorney to avoid a conviction or minimize the penalties they’re facing. If they’re charged with a felony, they might be able to accept a plea bargain to receive a misdemeanor conviction instead.
However, even if the judge is willing to be easy on a person because it was their first arrest and they asked for help, the judge might not be as nice the second time and may want to give them a much higher sentence. It’s imperative a person speaks with an attorney if they have been convicted of shoplifting before as the judge will be more likely to sentence them to the maximum penalties.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with shoplifting, contact a lawyer now for help. A lawyer like Aric Cramer may be able to have the charges dismissed or lowered for you or enable you to receive help for an impulse control disorder instead of jail time so you can get the help you need to stop shoplifting.