If you face allegations of shoplifting, you need to understand your legal rights and how to protect them. Shoplifting can be a serious offense, especially if the value of the items involved rises to more than $2,000. These charges can range in severity from minor misdemeanors to felonies.
Let a New Haven shoplifting lawyer defend you and your best interests. Ruane Attorneys could explain the state’s complex shoplifting laws and investigate the prosecution’s case. Our lawyers can then work to build a defense that protects you and your future.
Shoplifting Under State Law
State laws use many terms to describe illegal activity related to theft. Shoplifting is a form of theft that involves taking merchandise from a store. Connecticut General Statute § 53a-119 contains the complete list of theft offenses under state law. It defines shoplifting as taking possession of merchandise with the intent to deprive the merchant of the use of that item without paying full price.
However, the law also describes other acts that constitute shoplifting, including:
- Altering or removing a store’s label
- Removing a shopping cart from the store’s property
- Transferring a product from one container to another
Additionally, possessing or attempting to use any object meant to bypass a store’s antitheft security measures is illegal. Police officers can charge a person with shoplifting under a variety of scenarios. A New Haven shoplifting attorney could help explain why a person is facing allegations of retail theft and build a defense for the charges.
Consequences of a Shoplifting Conviction in New Haven
At its core, shoplifting is a version of theft. Charges involving retail theft allege that a person attempted to deprive a store owner of the property involved in the incident. Many shoplifting charges are examples of misdemeanor theft involving items valued under $500. Here, a conviction can result in no more than three months in jail.
However, the state’s laws outline enhanced penalties for cases involving items of greater value. For example, if the value of the stolen items is at least $2,000, the case becomes a felony where convictions can bring at least one year in prison. A lawyer at Ruane Attorneys can provide more information about the potential penalties for a shoplifting conviction.
Contact a New Haven Shoplifting Lawyer Today
Retail theft occurs when a person takes merchandise from a store without paying. These charges can also result from any attempt to change a price tag or distract a store employee to aid in theft. Even possessing certain tools can lead to accusations that you were trying to shoplift.
Allegations of shoplifting are among the most common in local courts. However, this does not mean that these charges are not serious. A conviction will appear on your criminal record and affect your future opportunities. In felony cases, a conviction could even lead to a multiple-year prison sentence.
If you face these allegations, let a New Haven shoplifting lawyer handle your case. An attorney can work to explain the state’s complex laws and gather evidence to form a strong defense tailored to the charges. Reach out to Ruane Attorneys today to protect your rights, freedom, and future.