Caroline County Shoplifting Defenses

Defending shoplifting is similar to the defense of a larceny case. An experienced defense attorney will challenge a force of three things: the taking, the guilty mind, and the intent to permanently defraud. A shoplifting charge is a more difficult to defend in Caroline County because many times there are not many witnesses.

The prosecutor must prove that there was a taking with a shoplifting charge. Meaning, the item in question was taken past all points of sale and the action was done so on purpose with the intent to deprive the store of the item without paying for the item and without permission.

With concealment, the Commonwealth only needs to prove that the item was concealed on the person and it was done so with the intent to deprive the store of the item.

Common Forms of Evidence

When shoplifting involves a corporation, there are one to two people involved, cameras, and a loss prevention officer from some type of store such Target, or Walmart. These stores have loss prevention individuals and security people who watch for loss. The defense will also consider the police officer who responded to the call from loss prevention.

Challenging Evidence

The first thing the lawyer challenges is the taking. Perhaps, the item was not taken and somebody made a mistake if the item was not hidden. The attorney always challenges the taking and makes sure an actual taking took place.

It is important to collect the facts for the defense to first challenge the guilty mind. Accidents happen; somebody could have bought several things and accidentally walked out of the store without paying for all of the items. Someone could have put an item in the cart or put something in their pocket not thinking about it.

When defending shoplifting charges in Caroline County, it is very important to challenge the guilty mind. The two main strategies to challenge the charges are to challenge the evidence as far as the taking is concerned and then challenge the evidence as far as the guilty mind is concerned.

Preparing a Defense

Knowledge of the client’s record will be the first step to planning the shoplifting defense. Do they have previous larcenies? Do they have any felonies? Is there any reason why this person is charged with petty larceny third as opposed to a simple petty larceny? Knowing this is what changes a felony charge into a misdemeanor charge.

These points will help early on when preparing the defense for their client. That way, the client can make the most informed decision about what to do going forward. When preparing a shoplifting defense the attorney will speak with their client to get their perspective and point of view of what happened at the time of the arrest. The next step is to investigate and file a pretrial motion.

Useful Tools

If the arrest for larceny came from a store, there is usually some form of the video the store used to catch the charged individual. The lawyer must find out if the video is in existence, was destroyed, or if there was even any video taken. Was there a recording or a live feed that loss prevention was watching? The shoplifting lawyer will learn as much as possible about the store security system and the way in which the individual was caught.

Any statements the charged individual made to the Caroline County police officer and to people in the store is vital to the theft attorney’s shoplifting defense. That includes security, loss prevention, cashiers, managers, et cetera. This is important because if a statement is made to a police officer or any actor or employee of the state, there are certain provisions and protocols that must be followed for that statement to be admissible in court.

However, statements that are made to loss prevention staff, security employees, or lay people do not fall under those same guidelines of protections of the constitution. So it is important to know what statements are made and to whom they were made.

Favorable Outcomes

When someone does not have any criminal history, that increases the chance that their lawyer can come to some kind of resolution between their client and the Caroline County commonwealth that keeps their client’s record clean and puts them in a position where they do not have a criminal conviction on their record.

However, when someone has a criminal history, that decreases the chances of working with the Caroline County commonwealth. It also decreases the chances of their attorney coming to some kind of agreement to keep them out of jail or put that person strictly on probation.

An individual comes back to their lawyer to find holes in the commonwealth’s case through investigation and trial preparation. The more holes or problems the attorney can locate in the commonwealth’s case, the better the chance that the Commonwealth is willing to come to some kind of agreement. That could include dismissal of charges or removal from the person’s criminal history.

Caroline County Shoplifting Lawyer