Columbia Shoplifting Attorney
Defending Against Shoplifting Charges in South Carolina
A person who is convicted of shoplifting can be required to pay restitution to the store owner for the cost of the merchandise. A person who is convicted of shoplifting can also be required to pay fines and serve jail time. A conviction for shoplifting can have a negative effect on a person's ability to obtain employment, student loans, and housing. At The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC, our Columbia shoplifting lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and help you fight the charges.
Call The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC today at (855) 796-0188 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our shoplifting lawyer in Columbia.
What is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting is a common criminal offense involving the unlawful taking of merchandise or goods from a store or retail establishment to deprive the owner of their property without paying for it. This offense encompasses a wide range of actions, including:
- Concealing merchandise
- Altering or removing price tags
- Switching labels
- Placing unpaid items in bags, pockets, or personal belongings
- Exiting the store without paying for concealed items
Shoplifting can be impulsive and often committed without premeditation, but it can have severe legal consequences in South Carolina.
What are the Penalties for Shoplifting in South Carolina?
The penalties for shoplifting in South Carolina can differ depending on the value of the stolen merchandise and whether you have previous convictions for similar offenses. In general, the penalties can be as follows:
- Value under $2,000: Shoplifting merchandise valued at less than $2,000 is considered a misdemeanor in South Carolina. Penalties may include fines, community service, probation, and 30 days in jail for first-time offenders.
- Value $2,000 or more: Shoplifting items worth $2,000 or more is a felony offense in South Carolina. Felony convictions can result in significant fines, probation, and prison sentences, with penalties increasing based on the value of the stolen items.
- Repeat offenders: If you have previous shoplifting convictions, subsequent offenses can lead to more severe penalties, including longer jail or prison sentences.
Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges
Some possible defenses against shoplifting charges may include the following:
- Lack of intent: It may be a valid defense if you did not intend to permanently deprive the store of its merchandise.
- Mistaken identity: You may have been wrongly identified as the perpetrator, and we can help prove your innocence.
- Illegal search and seizure: If evidence was acquired through an unlawful search or seizure, it may be inadmissible in court.
- Insufficient evidence: The prosecution needs to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If insufficient evidence supports the charges, we can argue for your acquittal.
- Miranda rights violations: If law enforcement failed to properly inform you of your rights, your statements may be inadmissible.
Contact Our Shoplifting Lawyer in Columbia Today
If you face shoplifting charges in South Carolina, don't face the legal system alone. The consequences of a shoplifting conviction can be substantial, affecting your future in numerous ways. Our Columbia shoplifting attorney will fight to protect your rights, explore your defense options, and work toward the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC, today to get started with our Columbia shoplifting attorney.
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