Ocean City Shoplifting Defense Strategies
There are multiple defense strategies that an attorney could utilize in an Ocean City shoplifting charge at the same time, because the lawyer will be looking at the case and determining if the state has all the evidence and witnesses that they need, and if they can prove each and every element of the case.
Along with that, the attorney is also strategizing about how to prepare their client for sentencing. They will be gathering a lot of background information about the client and deciding if they need to send their client to get an assessment for drug and alcohol cases. A lawyer will consider if their client needs to be put in in-patient treatment, if there are mental health components to be addressed, or if they need to see a healthcare provider.
An experienced lawyer will gather all the necessary information and put together an effective defense strategy to battle their client’s Ocean City shoplifting charge.
Preparing a Defense
Initially, the attorney will spend a lot of time gathering information. They will want information about their client and about the case in order to prepare the best defense strategy for their client’s shoplifting charge in Ocean City.
The initial steps include a very detailed conversation with the client about their education, employment, any mental health treatment, any physical health issues going on, any substance abuse issues, and prior records. Knowing the client’s prior record is very important when trying to help them understand what the consequences and defenses for their Ocean City shoplifting charge might be.
For example, an 18-year-old who shoplifted $20 worth of something from Walmart is very different than a client with two prior theft convictions and looking at enhanced sentencing because of those prior convictions. It is extremely important to know what the person’s prior record is, if any.
More and more often in shoplifting cases the issue revolves around the use of self-checkouts. A lot of grocery stores, like Walmart, now offer a self-checkout option and seem to have routinely charged people with theft if a person either failed to scan an item or under-scanned something. That is a big assumption to make about someone utilizing a self-checkout. In that sort of case, attorneys need to talk to the defendant and get as much information as they can about what they were doing, whether they ever used something like self-checkout before, and if they fully understand how it worked.
One of the biggest steps, although it may not happen initially, is getting the discovery from the state, looking at it, and trying to determine if the state has all of the evidence and witness statements that they need.
Sometimes, theft cases will have a surveillance video that is relevant. It is important to make sure the video is acquired and reviewed to see if it helps the client’s case. Having a video can make all the difference about whether or not there is evidence against the client in an Ocean City shoplifting case.
Shoplifting vs Other Theft-Related Charges
There can be some differences in a shoplifting case versus other types of theft cases. The key phrase in a shoplifting case is that the defendant passed all points of sale, meaning the defendant walked past the all of the cash registers and clearly had no intention to pay for the item.
That is something that has to be considered when deciding if there is a defense for the shoplifting case in Ocean City. An attorney will determine if there is evidence that the defendant tried to conceal the item, and if they got past all the cash registers or if they were stopped before they got to the cash registers. There are different nuances that apply specifically to shoplifting cases in Ocean City, and attorneys have to take those into consideration.
Ultimately, it is important to understand that, in order to convict somebody of a theft, it has to be proved that the accused intended to take it and not pay for it, to permanently deprive the store or person of said item. That is a major element in shoplifting, and makes shoplifting unique and a little bit different from other types of theft cases.