Shoplifting or retail theft generally refers to the theft of merchandise from a retail store or a place of business. Shoplifting is a variation of a theft crime, which simply means taking and carrying away the property of another person or business without permission and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property taken. See Md. Code Criminal Law Ann. 7-104. Shoplifting can be either a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense depending on the value of the merchandise allegedly taken. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, more than $13 billion dollars worth of goods are stolen from retailers in the United States each year. Retailers use a variety of tools (such as ink tags, surveillance cameras, electronic article monitoring, mirrors, and loss prevention officers) to aggressively deter, apprehend, and prosecute shoplifters.
There are many different ways to shoplift from a store or a place of business. Perhaps the most obvious way is to take merchandise out of the store without paying or attempting to pay for it. Other ways, however, may be enough to support a theft conviction. For example, concealing merchandise on your person while still inside of the store may support a shoplifting charge and conviction. As another example, tampering with or removing security devices on merchandise while inside of the store may also support a shoplifting charge and conviction.
Baltimore County, MD Shoplifting Attorney
If you have been accused of shoplifting or retail theft, it is critical to have the assistance of a qualified, experienced shoplifting attorney to help you in your case because of the potential immediate and lifelong consequences of a conviction if found guilty. Our criminal defense law firm based in Baltimore County, MD regularly defends the rights of people accused of shoplifting or retail theft. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation at our Towson, MD office with a qualified, experienced shoplifting attorney. During your free consultation, our principal attorney will discuss the facts of your case with you, explore possible defenses to the charge, and explain ways to possibly avoid a conviction altogether or minimize the consequences of a potential conviction if found guilty of the offense.