Building a Defense for Shoplifting Cases in Bethesda
There is no major difference in the consequences between shoplifting cases and theft cases, as far as the statutes are concerned. Shoplifting cases fall under the same theft statute as other kinds of theft charges and therefore those convicted may be subject to similar penalties as someone who didn’t steal something from a store.
With that said, it is important those accused consult with a Bethesda shoplifting lawyer is going to make sure that they gather all of the evidence and information which a prosecutor is trying to admit in a particular case, and use them to build as strong a defense as possible.
Preparing a Defense
The first step a shoplifting lawyer will take when building a defense is to review all the discovery or evidence to make sure that all the evidence is properly admissible in the case. A lawyer will also find out their client’s version of the events, in order to make sure any witnesses who need to be subpoenaed or alibis that need to be confirmed, are done well in advance of the trial date.
Most of the time, building shoplifting defenses have a great deal to do with technicality. Defenses can be built on whether the charges are properly written, or if the police officers have properly established jurisdiction when writing charges, or any number of other technicalities. An attorney will also determine which evidence is available in the particular case. Surveillance video, for example, might be available from some of the larger retailers in the Bethesda area.
However, whether that surveillance will actually be admissible is a question a defense attorney will try to question. Often, admissibility of evidence can keep the defendant from being convicted, if the judge or finder of fact is not able to see it.
Witness Bias in a Shoplifting Defense
In shoplifting cases, the defense is going to differ from a theft defense because the witnesses involved in a shoplifting case generally, do not have any bias against the defendant. For example, if one person, a regular citizen, is accusing another person of theft, there might be some relationship between those parties, and the defense attorney might be able to identify biases as to why a person might falsely accuse another of theft.
Biases in theft cases could be that they have been in a relationship with each other, one owed the other money, or any number of other things that can come up during the course of the trial to discredit the accuser.
There is far less ability to discredit a witness who was simply working at a retail establishment and has no other connection to the defendant. Additionally, discrediting things like video surveillance, which capture incidents or events happening, without any relation to one side versus the other is generally not able to happen.