Shoplifting can land you in a lot of trouble if you are caught. And, because of the growing instances of shoplifting across Minnesota, most large and small retail stores are cracking down on theft instances by installing state of the art equipment. Cameras, mirrors, and secret shoppers are all defense tactics being used in stores across Minnesota. In some instances, a shop will hire security guards to monitor the shoppers at all times. What all this means is that you may find yourself being watched and targeted while doing the weekly shop or window shopping. It also means you may be accused of shoplifting if you make any suspicious movements.
Petty Theft and Grand Theft
Shoplifting crimes fall under two different categories – petty theft and grant theft. You could be facing petty theft charges, which is usually considered a misdemeanor offense, if you have stolen goods valued at under $400. If the value of goods is higher than $400, then you will be facing grand theft charges, which are considered much more serious. In some instances, a shoplifting grand theft offense can be considered a felony.
Shoplifting and Employee Theft
It is also important to note that many stores are going behind the scenes to catch employee shoplifters as well. Employee theft is a growing concern with all businesses which is why you also need to be aware of what constitutes employee shoplifting thefts, especially if you work in the retail environment. If you switch the tags on items, take something from the lost and found, take something from the stock room, or use something in the store without paying for it, then you could be accused of shoplifting or employee theft. If you are accused of shoplifting, you will most likely lose your job, and you may be facing a criminal conviction as well.
Cracking Down on Shoplifting
Because of the widespread use of security and monitoring devices, there are more cases where an innocent shopper is accused of shoplifting. Even a shoplifting accusation can negatively impact your life. You will most likely feel incredibly embarrassed and angry, especially if the arrest is a big mistake or misunderstanding. If you are arrested in the store, you will most likely face stares and whispers from your friends, neighbors, and other shoppers in the store. It can be hard to explain what has happened, which is why it is best to keep quiet and let an experienced shoplifting attorney do the talking for you. The best way to avoid a criminal conviction is to remain as calm as possible and keep your mouth shut until a lawyer is present.
Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you or someone you love is facing a criminal conviction, then now is the time to step up and fight back. Contact St. Paul criminal defense lawyer Michael Brandt at 763-421-6366 for a free, no obligation consultation.