The number one property crime in the United States is taking merchandise from retailers. This crime is known as shoplifting and is defined as taking property from a store when there is no intent to return it. Shoplifting costs retailers around $20 billion every year, and individuals convicted of shoplifting may face harsh penalties.
States typically divide shoplifting charges into two levels. The lesser crime is known as “petty theft.” The definition of petty theft will vary from state to state. It occurs when goods of a small value are taken, for example, stealing a CD from a music store. Penalties for petty theft typically include paying back the money for the property that was stolen plus a fine for the crime.
Shoplifting may also be classified as “grand theft.” This crime includes taking property of a higher value, and the exact amount is set by each state. Typically, shoplifting becomes grand theft if the value of property taken is near or over $400.
It is estimated that 1 in 11 people commit a shoplifting crime in their life. It is difficult to overturn shopping lifting charges. In order to be arrested for shoplifting, there must be physical evidence, and this evidence may be used in court. However, sentences for shoplifting are not set in stone, and you may be able to negotiate a lesser sentence.
For More Information
If you live in the Dallas area and have been charged with shoplifting, aggressive legal representation is waiting. Contact the Dallas shoplifting defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter at 214-845-7007 for more information.