Shoplifting is one of the most common types of criminal offenses in New Britain. The act of shoplifting involves taking merchandise or other items from a store without paying for them. There is a distinction between this offense and more violent charges like armed robbery. Still, those accused of this offense should consult a New Britain shoplifting lawyer to avoid criminal penalties.
While shoplifting is against the law, it is not a recognized criminal offense in this state. This is because all theft charges are combined into a single criminal offense known as “larceny.” Discuss your situation with the legal team at Ruane Attorneys and learn the laws applicable to your case.
What Qualifies as Shoplifting?
There is no formal shoplifting charge according to state law. However, the act of shoplifting is punishable under the standard larceny statute. Any act of theft—whether it is from a store or not—is covered by this statute. A New Britain attorney could assist with defending these shoplifting allegations.
There are six different degrees of larceny charges. A person accused of shoplifting will face the consequences based on the value of what they allegedly took. While shoplifting could qualify under any of these degrees, most cases are treated as sixth-degree larceny, as shoplifting typically involves the theft of less-expensive items. Sixth-degree larceny covers the theft of items worth $250 or less. A conviction could lead to three months in jail, a fine of $500, or a combination of the two.
The penalties associated with shoplifting can be much higher for cases involving high-value merchandise. The most serious larceny offense in the 1st degree applies to the theft of items worth more than $10,000. This felony charge could result in as much as 20 years in prison, a fine of $15,000, or both. When the stakes are this high, those accused of shoplifting need legal representation from a New Britain attorney.
Avoiding Jail in a New Britain Shoplifting Case
There are different ways a person accused of shoplifting might avoid jail time. Often, this involves negotiating a plea bargain with the state. Even if the evidence offered by the state is enough to get a conviction at trial, a shoplifting attorney at our firm could work to prevent time behind bars or steep fines through plea negotiations.
Of course, avoiding a conviction also prevents any risk of incarceration. If a person accused of shoplifting is successful at trial, they are acquitted by the judge or jury. That means they are not guilty of the offense and will never face penalties associated with a conviction.
It could also be possible for the court or prosecutor to dismiss the criminal charges. A judge could dismiss charges with prejudice if the police violated the defendant’s rights. The prosecutor might also be persuaded to dismiss the shoplifting charges if a New Britain lawyer can show that the evidence is lacking.
Reach Out to a New Britain Shoplifting Attorney as Soon as Possible
An arrest for shoplifting does not have to end in a conviction. You have the right to defend your case with the help of legal counsel. Reach out to a New Britain shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible for a private consultation. The team at Ruane Attorneys is prepared to represent you throughout the legal process.