If you have been caught stealing from an establishment, you should contact a shoplifting lawyer Fairfax VA trusts. Dave Albo is a law firm you can count on for reliability, honesty, and support. Regardless of what happened, we are ready to listen to what you have to say and give you unbiased advice on what to do next. To speak with a Fairfax shoplifting lawyer, please call our firm now.
What Is Considered Shoplifting?
In general, shoplifting is considered to be a form of petty theft and includes taking merchandise which is valued less than a certain amount. An alleged shoplifter does not necessarily have to exit the store to be charged with the criminal act. Rather, the defendant could exhibit the slightest movement consistent with the intention to shoplift. An example of this may be hiding the item in another item or placing the item inside a pocket. It should be noted that absentmindedly placing an item over another might not constitute theft. Because this area is relatively broad, it is recommended to have a shoplifting lawyer in Fairfax VA review your case. Even if a shoplifter offers to pay for the item after being apprehended, he or she can still be charged. Examples of shoplifting include:
- Altering or removing price tags;
- Wearing clothing that has not been purchased;
- Placing items in a pocket, bag, or underneath clothing; and
- Placing items in another package or product.
As a shoplifting lawyer in Fairfax Virginia we will examine the evidence against you and let you know what you might expect.
Larceny/Theft – Shoplifting, Grand Larceny, Petit Larceny
“Larceny” is stealing, theft, or shoplifting. It is different from robbery because there is no use of force. To convict, the prosecutor must prove (1) that the defendant took personal property belonging to another and carried it away; (2) that the taking was against the will and without the consent of the owner; and (3) that the taking was with the intent to steal.
If the value of the allegedly stolen property was worth $500 or more (Note: on July 1, 2020, the law changes to $1000 or more), or the item was a firearm, the crime is considered grand larceny, which is a felony, carrying a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and no mandatory minimum punishment. Otherwise, the crime is petit larceny, a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Common Beliefs Held by Shoplifters
A shoplifting lawyer Fairfax VA families trust frequently receives phone calls from people who have been caught shoplifting but believe they should not be charged because they:
- Offered to pay for the items;
- Did not actually leave the store;
- Bought something while another party did the actual theft;
- Acted only as a lookout;
- Felt the item was overpriced;
- Believed the salesperson was rude, inconsiderate, or discriminatory;
- Thought jail was not a possibility; and
- Did something that did not actually hurt anyone.
All of these factors do not matter and will not hold up in a court of law. Unfortunately, if many offenders had known this, especially the youth, they might not have shoplifted in the first place. As a shoplifting lawyer Fairfax VA provides, we will do whatever is legally possible to build a defense on your behalf. It will be our objective to:
- Make an arrangement with the establishment to avoid to court process;
- Push for a diversion program which may include counseling or community service;
- Negotiate the charges against you;
- Have the charges reduced or dropped; and
- Prevent a permanent record from being established.
If you are a repeat offender, you may be charged with a felony known as a petty with a prior. These charges could carry the possibility of prison time, large fines, and a felony conviction on your record. In this instance, it is prudent to seek advice from a shoplifting lawyer Fairfax VA counts on such as Dave Albo.