Shoplifting charges should always be taken seriously, as the consequences of a conviction could have a permanent and detrimental impact on the defendant’s life. However, before the court levies any penalties, the prosecution must prove that the defendant actually committed this offense, and there are many effective defense strategies that could work in the defendant’s favor.
If you have been accused of stealing merchandise, you should engage legal representation as soon as possible. A qualified lawyer could craft shoplifting defense strategies for your DeKalb County case and help you mitigate or defeat your charges.
To prosecute a shoplifting case, the state needs to prove that the defendant had the intent of appropriating merchandise for their own use without paying for it, or that they intended to deprive the owner of possession of the item. After proving intent, the prosecution can attempt to show that the defendant concealed the goods, altered their price tags, changed the labels, or transferred the merchandise from one box to another.
Fortunately, the evidence that the prosecution brings in a DeKalb County shoplifting case can be challenged by thoughtful and compelling defense strategies. The state has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and it is the role of a lawyer to cast suspicion on the state’s arguments in court.
The best defense strategies in local shoplifting cases will subvert the underlying facts that the prosecution is trying to prove. Many shoplifting cases will begin with the report of a store employee, typically a loss prevention officer, detailing what they observed during the alleged theft. A skilled attorney in the area could carefully examine the loss prevention officer’s report for inconsistencies and find inaccuracies within the evidence, as attacking the credibility of witnesses is one of the most successful defense methods in shoplifting cases.
During a trial, the defendant’s legal team would explain alternative theories for why an item might have passed the final point of sale without payment There are many reasons why things simply do not get paid for. For example, an item may have been unscanned during a self-checkout because the defendant forgot to insert their credit card, or they put an item absent-mindedly in their pocket or purse while shopping.
These mistakes or lapses in judgement may not add up to the criminal intent necessary to convict an individual for shoplifting, and after hearing these defenses, a judge or jury may find it difficult to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The assistance of an attorney who has experience handling retail theft charges could ensure that you get the best possible resolution of your case. The right shoplifting defense strategies in your DeKalb County case could allow you to avoid the consequences of a conviction and maintain future economic, educational, and personal opportunities. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation and learn more about your options.