Shoplifting is when someone takes an item from a retail establishment without the intent to pay for that item, and with the intent to deprive the merchant of the benefit or use of that item. Taking something off the shelf and walking out the door without paying for it is shoplifting.
When an individual takes something off of a rack, going to a changing room, stuffing it in their purse, and walking out with it without paying for it, that is shoplifting. People try stuff on and wear it under their clothing. There is an interesting case of shoplifting where people destroy the packaging and put it back on the shelf. Because the merchandise is no longer salable, a person can still be charged with shoplifting because they deprived the rightful owner of profit.
If you face shoplifting charges in West Palm Beach, contact a qualified shoplifting attorney who can work tirelessly to build your case.
Difference Between Robbery and Theft
Robbery differs from shoplifting theft in that theft is a lesser-included offense of robbery, that is, in order for there to be a robbery there has to be a theft. The difference between theft and robbery is force, whether or not force is used. The difference in the types of robbery would depend on the type of force that is being used and the higher the force, the higher the degree of robbery a person is facing.
The difference between larceny and shoplifting charges in West Palm Beach depends on the value of the goods. Larceny is another word for theft, and within Florida, they use the word theft more than larceny, but they are interchangeable.
There are also cases in food establishments where they sell prepared food and people have been accused of theft by going into those hot bars or the food court and grazing the food and not paying for it, then they are accused of stealing the food, they have eaten it, that person cannot sell it, they are not going to pay for it. There are varying degrees of shoplifting, many different kinds of shoplifting, and those are different ways that it can come about, so it depends upon the value of the property and the conduct that is under taken to deprive the merchant of the use or benefit of that property.
Evidence the Prosecutor Will Use
If a person goes into a store, there are cameras around. There are usually digital recordings of any type of conduct when someone goes into a dressing room to try something on, there are stickers or warning or signs in the dressing room saying and telling that person that they are being monitored, they are on notice that they are being monitored. In addition to that, stores employ loss prevention officers, they are almost like undercover security guards who are patrolling the aisles, patrolling the department, and watching people’s conduct.
If a person is accused of theft from a store, regardless of the value, the prosecutor will typically have the testimony of an individual, a loss prevention officer, an employee of the establishment that watched the defendant or watched the person allegedly take the property of the store and try to conceal it, put it in the bag, put in under their clothes, take the tags off, or take the sensors off, and then the officers have a witness to come to testify that they observed the accused doing something and then walk out of the store or try to walk out of the store and it may be backed up digital or videotaped evidence, that is typically the type of evidence that comes up. They might also have someone testify as to the value of that property.
That is the evidence the Prosecutor would have to put on to show that someone saw this happening then maybe a video recording of it happening and then the prosecutor has to put on testimonies to the value of the property that was allegedly taken. There may be consent after the person is caught or apprehended, there may be a confession.
Building a Defense
Anything that the defendant says has to be put in the proper context. They might put in the context of time, place, or setting, but it also has to be in the context of what was the question that was asked or was there a question that was asked and were there any promises or guarantees made if the person agreed to confess to that.
Coercion would come into play if an attorney wanted to challenge the credibility of the alleged confession or the statement of the defendant. A case like that would probably not go to trial unless the individual wanted to go to trial, but when a person has a case where they have evidence like that and have a confession, most often that case is not going to get to trial unless there is nothing to lose by going to trial.
Reasons to Contact an Attorney
Shoplifting charges in West Palm Beach can have serious consequences because shoplifting is a moral crime that can affect a person’s eligibility for employment. Furthermore, it reflects on a person’s character and theft charges are viewed as shameful. You do not want to be labeled a thief, a liar, or someone who steals. It is lawyer’s job to make sure that conduct like this does not affect you for the rest of your life. You cannot do this alone, which is why you should contact an adept shoplifting lawyer. Your West Palm Beach theft attorney can advocate for you.