Fairfax Shoplifting Lawyer

As defined by Fairfax law, shoplifting is defined by the removal of any items from its rightful place with the intent to permanently deprive the shop of that item. It could be as simple as concealing an item in a purse or jacket. Any concealment provides evidence that the accused had the intent to leave the store without paying for the item; somebody does not have to leave the store to be convicted of shoplifting.

A person charged with shoplifting in Fairfax should call a well-versed theft attorney, because shoplifting sometimes sounds innocuous but it is a theft crime, it is a crime of moral turpitude, and it carries serious consequences. Nobody should try to defend themselves against a theft charge without the expertise of an attorney. A person should contact a Fairfax shoplifting lawyer as soon as they possibly are able after they have been charged.

What are the Defining Elements of Shoplifting?

Shoplifting is a form of larceny in Fairfax. The one thing that surprises many people is that the simple concealment of an item is sufficient to convict somebody of the charge of shoplifting, even if they have never gone past the point of sale.

The laws concerning shoplifting mirror the laws concerning theft, although they are specific in the fact that once the item is concealed that is all the evidence required to be proven by the prosecution to obtain a conviction against the accused.

Felony Shoplifting Charges

Circumstances in which shoplifting might be considered a felony depending on two factors. One factor is the dollar value of the item taken from the store. Effective July 1, 2018, the dollar limit was raised to $500. If something alleged to have been shoplifted is determined to be valued at $500, an accused would be charged with a felony. The additional factor, regardless of dollar value, is if the individual has two prior theft convictions on their record they could be charged with petit larceny subsequent offense. That would be treated as a felony, as well.

Shoplifting vs. Other Theft Offenses

Shoplifting differs from other theft-related offenses mainly in the fact that a person does not have to actually pass from the last point of sale to be convicted of a crime of shoplifting. The shoplifting defense differs from other theft-related offenses because if somebody is charged with shoplifting without having left the store, it allows for an argument related to the accused’s intent at the time. Otherwise, the defense for shoplifting is similar to other theft-related offenses.

Some ways that having a Fairfax shoplifting lawyer could help are by leveraging their training and experience in defending against theft and larceny charges and by advocating on their behalf throughout the entire court process. It prevents the person from having to be alone, especially when facing such serious consequences that come with theft and larceny charges.

Common Penalties for Stealing from a Store

The possible penalties if a person is convicted of shoplifting in Fairfax include up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 for a first conviction. If there are two prior theft conviction charges on a person’s record, they could be charged with the felony charge, which carries up to five years in prison. The potential consequences of misdemeanor shoplifting include up to 12 months in jail and up to a fine of up $2,500.

Defense Strategies for Store Theft Cases

For a person to be convicted of shoplifting, the prosecutor would need to prove that the individual concealed or removed an object that did not belong to them with the intent to permanently deprive the store of that item without paying for it.

Strategies that shoplifting lawyers might use when preparing their defense in Fairfax include investigating the case, discussing the case and researching applicable case law. They will also review the evidence that would be presented in court against the accused.

The initial steps that a Fairfax shoplifting lawyer would take when preparing a defense include a detailed conversation with the accused regarding the circumstances of the arrest. They will also contact the prosecutor to access any evidence that might be presented in court against the accused.