Escondido Shoplifting Lawyer
Experienced Defense Against Shoplifting Charges in California
If you're facing shoplifting charges in California, you need an experienced attorney to defend your rights and fight for your future. Shoplifting is a serious offense with potentially life-altering consequences, and having the right legal representation can make all the difference. At Sterger Law Group, our team specializes in criminal defense, and we're here to help you navigate the complexities of shoplifting charges.
Call Sterger Law Group today at (760) 280-7900 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our shoplifting attorney in Escondido.
What is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting refers to taking or stealing merchandise from a store or retail establishment without paying for it or having the intention to deprive the owner of the merchandise. Shoplifting can take various forms, including:
- Concealing items in clothing, bags, or personal belongings.
- Swapping price tags to pay less for an item.
- Altering packaging to deceive the cashier.
- Exiting a store without paying for merchandise.
Shoplifting can also occur more sophisticatedly, such as colluding with store employees or using tools to bypass security measures.
What are the Penalties for Shoplifting in California?
The penalties for shoplifting in California differ depending on the value of the stolen merchandise, your criminal history, and other circumstances. Common penalties for shoplifting may include:
- Infraction or Misdemeanor: If the stolen items are valued at less than $950, you may be charged with an infraction or a misdemeanor. Penalties may include fines, informal probation, and potential imprisonment for up to 6 months.
- Felony: Shoplifting may be charged as a felony if the stolen items are valued at $950 or more or if you have a previous conviction for certain serious crimes. Felony convictions can lead to substantial fines, formal probation, and prison sentences ranging from 16 months to three years.
- Restitution: Regardless of the offense level, you may be required to pay restitution to the store owner for the value of the stolen merchandise
Some common defenses against shoplifting charges may include:
- Lack of Intent: If it can be proven that you did not intend to steal or permanently deprive the owner of the merchandise, this may be a valid defense.
- Mistaken Identity: In some cases, you may have been wrongly identified as the shoplifter, and evidence supporting your alibi can be crucial.
- Illegal Search and Seizure: If law enforcement or store security violated your Fourth Amendment rights during the investigation or arrest, evidence obtained may be deemed inadmissible.
- Store Policy Violations: In certain instances, store employees may have acted negligently or violated store policies during your encounter, which could affect the validity of the charges.
- Entrapment: Entrapment may be a potential defense if you were induced or coerced into committing the shoplifting offense by store personnel or law enforcement.
Contact Our Shoplifting Attorney in Escondido Today
If you or a loved one is facing shoplifting charges in California, time is of the essence. Contact our dedicated shoplifting lawyer at Sterger Law Group today to protect your rights, future, and reputation. We understand your challenges and will deliver you with aggressive and compassionate legal representation. Your future is worth fighting for, and Sterger Law Group is here to fight for you.
Contact Sterger Law Group today to get started with our Escondido shoplifting lawyer.