In South Carolina and elsewhere, shoplifting is an issue that plagues numerous business owners. There are those who believe this to be a harmless act, but the truth of the matter is it hurts retailers and the loss, if significant enough, gets passed onto consumers in the form of increased prices. Because so many people can be affected by shoplifting, the state does not take this type of crime lightly. As such, those accused of shoplifting could benefit from a strong criminal defense to help them achieve the best outcomes to their cases.
How is shoplifting defined? Simply put, shoplifting is taking or attempting to remove merchandise from a business without paying for it. If one is accused of shoplifting, prosecuting attorneys will have to prove that the accused took possession of the merchandise and had the intent to remove it from the place of business without making payment.
What are the penalties for this type of crime? Every state is different, but at the end of the day charges can range from a simple infraction to a felony. This means that the penalties tied to a conviction can range from minor fines to significant fines and imprisonment. The severity of the consequences involved in one's case will be tied to the value of the merchandise one is accused of taking.
A shoplifting charge may not seem like a big deal but it can be, and it deserves real attention in order for one to be able to work through the criminal court system and seek a favorable outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can offer South Carolina residents who are charged with shoplifting the assistance that they need in order to resolve their cases in the best possible manner. With help, the appropriate steps can be taken so that any damages associated with such a charge can at least be minimized.
Source: FindLaw, "Shoplifting", Accessed on Aug. 14, 2017