The holiday shopping season is an important time for brick-and-mortar store owners and operators, who look to capitalize on the frenzy of purchase-ready customers to increase their annual revenues. To take advantage, many of them will restock their shelves, offer sales and discounts, and use numerous other customer-drawing strategies to get them through the door and making purchases. This also attracts would-be shoplifters, who like to take advantage of this retail chaos and walk out with what could be a significant amount of merchandise.
To fight back against would-be shoplifters, many retailers step up their loss-prevention measures, and even employ additional ones for these few weeks. When walking into a store of nearly any size, odds are you will see more employees working than usual. This works in two ways: not only will customers be able to obtain help faster during these busy times, but more employees can also keep more eyes out for potential shoplifters. You may also be required to show your receipt to a security guard at the door before you can leave.
Police also increase their presence at large shopping centers, such as malls and plazas, in an effort to try to curtail shoplifters. Their presence in these areas often makes would-be criminals think twice about committing theft, knowing that the odds of their getting away with it are significantly reduced with law enforcement already in the area.
Penalties for Shoplifting
A shoplifting conviction can be an extremely serious issue. Like other theft crimes, the exact nature of your charges will vary based on the value of the merchandise you steal. “Petit theft” in the second degree is the least serious offense that shoplifting can equal, and is given when the total value of the goods stolen is less than $100. However, it can still be penalized by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine as a second-degree misdemeanor.
When the value reaches $300-$20,000, you could be facing third-degree felony charges of grand theft. Being found guilty of these charges could land you up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If you are arrested and facing charges of shoplifting this holiday season, do not hesitate to seek counsel from a Weston criminal defense attorney. The renowned team at the Law Offices of Kevin Moot have the experience and trial skill you need to help defend your future and your rights from your prosecution.
Call the Law Offices of Kevin Moot today at (954) 371-0770 to schedule your initial consultation.