Shoplifting charges are not uncommon. In fact, some security staff are overzealous in their duties. If you face a shoplifting charge in the State of Texas, it is not something you should shrug off. The fact is that a conviction can lead to serious consequences that are well worth avoiding, and an experienced Waco criminal defense attorney can help you with that.
Bringing Your Strongest Defense
If a shoplifting charge has been levied against you, it is critical that you bring your strongest defense. And while your best defense will be unique to your exact situation, there are some basic defense strategies that commonly apply.
It Was an Honest Mistake
Our lives are incredibly busy, and all that rushing can lead to mistakes. No one – not even the judge in your case – has gotten this far without at least almost leaving a store without paying for something. You are not invulnerable to this same foible, and the store, the judge, and the prosecution know this to be true. Honest mistakes that can lead to shoplifting charges include all of the following:
A cashier who fails to charge you but puts the item in your bag anyway
An item left in the cart during checkout and, therefore, never scanned
Throwing an item in your bag as you reach for your ringing phone
Distractedly carrying an item out of the store prior to paying
We have all been there, and if you simply made an honest mistake, it is time to tell your story.
You Already Paid for the Item You Have Been Accused of Shoplifting
If you are leaving a store when the alarm goes off, it is by no means proof that you are in the process of shoplifting. Often, it is a matter of the cashier forgetting to remove the security tag appropriately. Further, if you went through the line thoroughly intending to pay for the item in question, but the cashier failed to charge you correctly, you committed no crime. Finally, if you purchased the item in question and have the receipt on you, now is the time to dig it out.
You Already Own It
If the item in question is your own property, your defense is ready-made. You may, however, have to prove that you entered the store with the troublesome object. Such situations are often related to jewelry, clothing, shoes, and or bags that were purchased prior to the current visit.
It Wasn’t Me
Some shoplifting charges are cases of mistaken identity. Further, just because an item from the store is found in your bag is not proof that you put it there.
An Experienced Defense Attorney Can Help
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Waco, Texas – is an accomplished criminal defense attorney with the passion and skill to resolutely pursue your case’s best possible outcome. We are here for you, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.