The law takes special precautions in protecting the property of retailers, shops, and other businesses. The law defines shoplifting as stealing from these businesses and allows them to detain a suspected shoplifter until law enforcement arrives.
A shoplifting charge may result even if a person never removes items from a store. The law provides a list of actions that constitute illegal steps toward shoplifting and may be sufficient to support a conviction at trial. If you are facing an allegation of shoplifting, even if you never removed a product from a store, reach out to Ruane Attorneys. An East Windsor shoplifting lawyer could help to explain the state’s rules on this matter and develop a defense that meets your specific needs.
Shoplifting in East Windsor and Potential Penalties
Shoplifting, outlined under Connecticut General Statute § 53a-119, is just one of the state’s many examples of theft shoplifting. The severity of the case depends on the value of the items involved in the alleged incident. The amounts and penalties apply as follows:
- The offense is a class C misdemeanor for items with a value of less than $500. The penalty here cannot be more than a $500 fine or up to three months in jail.
- When the items are worth more than $2,000, the offense is a felony. A felony describes any case where a court may sentence a guilty party to more than one year in prison.
An attorney at our firm could further explain the levels of shoplifting penalties and help devise strategies to avoid convictions.
What Counts as Shoplifting?
Most people imagine shoplifting as someone taking an item from a store without paying. However, this is far from the only behavior that violates state law. The shoplifting laws outline various forms of shoplifting that do not include removing items from the store, such as:
- Moving items from one part of the store to another
- Working with another to conceal items within the store
- Altering, transferring, or otherwise changing a price tag
- Moving items from one storage container to another
In addition, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-119a says that store owners and staff may legally restrain a person they suspect of shoplifting while law enforcement arrives. This makes it possible for a court to convict a person of shoplifting without an item ever leaving a store. A shoplifting lawyer in East Windsor could help prepare defenses against these types of allegations to protect a person’s rights.
Contact an East Windsor Shoplifting Attorney Now
Shoplifting has a reputation as a minor criminal offense. However, you may face serious legal consequences if police make an arrest on a shoplifting charge. Every conviction will create a criminal record, and some incidents are felonies that can come with serious jail time.
An East Windsor shoplifting lawyer wants to help you to avoid this outcome. At Ruane Attorneys, our legal team could explain the state’s shoplifting laws, thoroughly investigate the incident, identify realistic goals, and fight to protect your legal rights during every court session. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.