What to do if you’re accused of shoplifting

Many people don't consider shoplifting a serious crime, until they find out that a conviction can lead to all sorts of punishments, ranging from a fine to community service to jail time.

This is why it's so important to fight back against a shoplifting accusation. There is never a good reason to go along with the charges, simply assuming that there's nothing you can do to better your situation.

If you're in a store and someone accuses you of shoplifting, here are a few important steps to take:

  • Stay calm and remember that you don't need to say anything. As tempted as you may be to speak, to defend yourself, it's often best to remain calm and quiet. The last thing you want to do is say something that incriminates you and/or could be used against you at a later date.
  • Know that the store or security officers can hold you at the scene until police arrive. While they are legally allowed to do so, they must have probable cause that you broke the law. Also, they don't have the power to forcibly hold you against your will.
  • You can be slapped with a shoplifting charge even if you don't actually steal anything. For example, if you were acting as a "watch out" for someone else, shoplifting charges could come your way.
  • Mistakes can happen. For example, a storeowner may think you were shoplifting when you actually had intentions to pay for the item. Don't hesitate to explain your situation and what went wrong, as long as it won't incriminate you in any way.

Although shoplifting is not always the most serious crime, it can have far-reaching penalties in the event that you attempt to steal something of great value.

Rather than look at shoplifting as a minor crime, consider the fact that it can be just as serious as robbery or burglary.

If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a shoplifting accusation, don't hesitate to review what went wrong, learn more about your legal rights, and decide how to defend yourself from the charges to avoid a punishment.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
View Our Testimonials
  1. What Our Clients Say

    Pedro from Nassau County “I was arrested and charged with being the getaway driver during a knife point robbery. The police stopped my car a block away from the robbery with my co-defendant in the car with me. The victim identified my co-defendant to the police within 5 minutes of the robbery... - GREAT JOB MR. DiDIO!”

  2. What Our Clients Say

    Johnny From Astoria "Mr. DiDio represented me during a murder trial in 2008. I was acquitted of all charges and released from jail after a four-week trial. I am now pursuing a civil suit against the police to compensate me for the time I was wrongfully incarcerated. Mr. DiDio literally saved... - I would highly recommend him as a trial attorney.”

  3. What Our Clients Say

    Frank from South Jamaica “Narcotics officers from Queens County arrested me in front of my house and claimed I had pre-recorded buy money in my pocket after they said I sold cocaine to an undercover officer a few minutes earlier. I was not guilty of the charges and planned to go to trial to prove... - There is no better criminal defense lawyer in NYC.”

  4. What Our Clients Say

    Lamar from Brooklyn “The Special Narcotics Prosecutor in Manhattan indicted me for the possession of a large quantity of crack cocaine. The police officers claimed they saw me make a sale of cocaine to a female and while they were arresting me, they said a softball size bag of crack cocaine fell from... - Thank you so much Mr. DiDio for the fantastic job you did on my case.”

  5. What Our Clients Say

    Pedro from Nassau County “I was arrested and charged with being the getaway driver during a knife point robbery. The police stopped my car a block away from the robbery with my co-defendant in the car with me. The victim identified my co-defendant to the police within 5 minutes of the robbery... - GREAT JOB MR. DiDIO!”

  6. What Our Clients Say

    Kenny From Jamaica Queens “I don’t know how to thank Mr. DiDio and his Staff. When I first hired the Law Office of Robert DiDio & Associates, I had two violent felony charges pending against me. I had little or no hope of avoiding significant jail time. My former attorney was encouraging me... - Thank-you for a great job done.”

  7. What Our Clients Say

    Christian from Long Island "My mother hired Mr. DiDio to represent me for my first and only criminal case. I was charged with criminal possession of a loaded firearm and other minor charges. Prior to indictment the Prosecutor's Office offered me a plea bargain that would include me pleading guilty to... - My family and I thank him very much for his hard work.”

Email Us For a Response

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Robert D. DiDio & Associates

Robert D. DiDio & Associates
8002 Kew Gardens Road
Suite 307
Kew Gardens, NY 11415

Phone: 917-300-0984
Kew Gardens Law Office Map

Map