Elite Lawyer

Retail Theft Attorney Overview

Elite Retail Theft Attorney

Lawyer Representation in Cases Involving Shoplifting

Theft can have a major impact on a store's bottom line, and this means that an establishment's owners are likely to prosecute anybody suspected of stealing from them. Anyone facing charges of retail theft should be aware of the serious nature of these charges and the potential consequences that can result from a conviction.

If you have been accused of retail theft, it is important to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help you determine your best options for defense. An experienced lawyer can ensure that you understand how state laws apply to your situation and how to achieve a positive result to your case.

Types of Retail Theft

While retail theft is commonly thought of as pocketing items and leaving a store without paying for them, it can take a variety of forms, including:

  • Shoplifting - This occurs when a person enters a store with the permission of the owner, conceals merchandise, and leaves without paying. Depending on state laws, a person may face shoplifting charges if they concealed an item with the intent to steal it, even if they did not actually leave the store while in possession of the stolen property.
  • Price manipulation - A customer may attempt to defraud a retailer by paying less than the full price for an item. This may occur when someone alters an item's packaging, switches price tags, or uses a self-check register to ring up the wrong item or take an incorrect discount.
  • Returns fraud - A person may face theft charges if they falsify merchandise returns or manipulate a store's return policy. This type of theft can include returning an item which was shoplifted or was never purchased, returning an item after it has been used, or receiving a refund that is larger than an item's purchase price.
  • Employee theft - In addition to shoplifting merchandise, employees may steal from their employers by taking cash from registers, ringing up improper discounts, altering inventory records, or assisting others in taking merchandise from the store without paying.

The laws regarding retail theft vary from state to state, but the severity of the charges will typically be based on the value of the stolen property or funds. In some cases, a low-value theft may result in a civil violation or a misdemeanor charge, but high-value cases will often be charged as a felony, which can be punished by large fines and significant jail time.

If you have been accused of shoplifting, employee theft, or retail theft, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process while providing a defense that will minimize the consequences to your life.

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