One of the most common forms of theft in the United States is shoplifting. This act is identified as the purposeful taking of an item from a place of retail when there is no intention of paying the store. There is a common misconception that shoplifting is a misdemeanor with minimal consequences, so many people simply plead guilty when they are accused of this crime with the impression that they will walk away with a warning or a slap on the wrist.
However, a shoplifting conviction can lead to very serious personal, professional, and financial consequences. If you have been accused of this crime, seeking legal representation is your best option for avoiding some of these penalties.
There are many different outcomes for a shoplifting conviction – most of them quite serious. These include fines, loss of employment, a permanent criminal record, and a prison sentence. The severity of the punishment is primarily based on the cost of the item stolen, the accused individual’s criminal record, the intended purpose of the item stolen, and the way the merchandise was taken.
A shoplifting conviction can affect not only your personal life by damaging your reputation, but it can also be costly in fines. Many companies and places of higher education have a zero tolerance policy for theft convictions. Shoplifting does not simply result in a warning from a judge, but more often has negative effects that can last for months or years – repercussions such as expulsion, loss of job, or worse. In many cases, experienced professional legal representation may be the best way to overcome shoplifting charges and preserve an individual’s good name.
If you or someone you know has been accused of shoplifting, contact the Austin theft defense attorneys at the Inglis Law Office to find out information regarding your legal rights.