If you have been accused of shoplifting in New York, you might think that you will automatically be charged; facing fines and possibly jail time. However, this is not the case. If you are accused of a crime, you are considered under the law to be innocent until proven guilty. This means that you have the legal right to defend yourself.
This is exactly why you should take immediate action to think about ways that you can defend yourself against a shoplifting accusation. The defense strategy that you will need to be successful will depend on the circumstances. The following are some of the arguments that you may be able to use as part of your defense.
Claim that you were intoxicated
Being intoxicated could mean that you are less culpable for your actions. Intoxication could lead you to take actions that you would not have done if sober. Therefore, proving that you were intoxicated at the time of the alleged theft could lead you to face lower charges.
Claim that you had right of ownership of the property
If you paid for an item in a store and were then accused of shoplifting, you should make sure that you stand up for yourself. You may have, for example, bought an item in a store and mistakenly been accused of shoplifting when walking into another store with it. By giving evidence, you will likely be able to successfully defend yourself in this case.
Argue that you took the property mistakenly
Sometimes shoplifting accusations arise out of honest mistakes. You may have had other things on your mind when you accidentally walked out of a store with an unpaid item. Alternatively, your child may have put an item in your bag when you were not looking.
Show that you tried to return the property
If you can prove that you tried to return the property when it was stolen, this will help your defense significantly because it will show that you had good intentions.
If you are worried about the possible legal consequences after being accused of shoplifting in New York, make sure that you act quickly so that you can plan a successful defense.