With enhanced security systems and the evolution of technology, retail loss prevention is more comprehensive than ever. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of facing shoplifting charges. Even seemingly minor charges such as shoplifting can have negative effects on your future because a criminal record affects your access to jobs, education and housing.
Fighting shoplifting charges is easier than you think.
Was the theft accidental?
Sometimes, theft occurs accidentally. Whether you forget about the flat of water underneath the cart or you set something on top of your purse in a hurry to grab a clumsy child, you may have no intention to steal those times. If you overlook the item when cashing out and find yourself in custody for shoplifting, lack of intent is a sound defense.
Did the scanner malfunction?
With many stores providing, and encouraging, self-checkout, shoplifting charges seem more frequent than ever. Many shoplifting charges result from the self-checkout scanner malfunctioning. If you made the effort to scan the item without realizing that the system missed it, that may provide a defense against the charge.
Were you still in the store?
Technically, shoplifting only occurs when you leave the premises with the product without paying for it. When loss prevention takes you into custody before you ever try to leave the store, you might argue that you never actually stole anything because you did not leave the property with it and you intended to pay for it before leaving.
Know your options to fight shoplifting charges and you can reduce your risk of a criminal conviction.