Got a Shoplifting Problem? Help is Available

Posted on in Criminal Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-34.jpgSometimes it starts on a dare when someone is very young. Other times, one begins shoplifting because they need some kind of thrill in their life. Whatever the reasons, shoplifting is not only illegal but results in millions of dollars in both loss to retailers and legal expenses every year.

What Exactly is Shoplifting?

Some people try to downplay shoplifting by suggesting it is a minor offense that involves taking just small items without paying for them. However, shoplifting is just another term for both “theft” and “larceny” and under certain circumstances could result in harsh penalties for repeat offenders. It should also be made clear that switching price tags or attempting to return an item taken from the shelf for store credit also fall within the definition of shoplifting.

Here are a few other details that some may not realize could result in or impact shoplifting charges.

  • You can be charged even if you are only acting as a “look out” for someone.
  • Offering to pay for an item if you are caught will not get you clear of charges.
  • You can be charged with shoplifting even if you have not yet left the premises.
  • The theft of valuable items can result in expensive fines and even a jail sentence.
  • A store owner can bring civil charges against you, in addition to any criminal charges.

Get Some Help

As it turns out, similar to some programs designed to help those facing drug, alcohol or driving-while-impaired charges, individuals arrested for charged with shoplifting may get help that could have a mitigating impact on their case. Non-profit groups, such as the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, offer a number of programs that are designed to help both adult and juvenile offenders avoid repeating their offense:

  • Diversion Programs
  • Support Groups and Self-Help Classes
  • Online Classes for Offenders
  • Education Programs for Adults
  • Education Programs for Juveniles

It should be stated that not all jurisdictions may accept participation in or completion of these programs as cause of mitigation or charges or sentencing.

An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Will Provide the Help You Need

In the event you are arrested for shoplifting it is important to obtain help from a qualified Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are observed and protected throughout the legal process. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, is a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney with a reputation for helping clients by providing a thorough and aggressive defense strategy. To learn more about the resources available to you, schedule a free consultation by calling  847-253-3400.