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How to defend yourself against a shoplifting charge

| Feb 5, 2020 | Theft And Property Crimes |

Defending yourself against a shoplifting charge is no easy task, especially when the deck is stacked against you. However, that doesn’t mean you should sit back, ignore the charge and hope for the best.

With the right defense strategy, you can fight to have your charges dropped or reduced. Here are some of the strategies you should consider:

  • Challenge the act of committing a crime: For example, you may be able to argue that you had every intention of paying for the item, as you had yet to leave the store when the employee or security officer approached you.
  • Challenge witness statements: In the event that there is no video evidence and only witness statements, you can challenge that what the person saw is inaccurate. Sometimes, store employees are so anxious to catch someone violating the law that they see things that don’t exist.
  • It was an accident: You argue that you were so busy with something else, such as checking out with a variety of other items or corralling your children, that you forgot to pay for something.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to use one of these defense strategies at the store. For instance, if an employee accuses you of stealing and calls the police, explain to them that you were going to pay for the item and that’s why you never left the store.

If you end up in court, have a clear understanding of the defense strategy you’ll use to protect your legal rights. The right approach can help prevent a conviction and the associated punishment.


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