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Somerset Shoplifting Lawyer

A person charged with shoplifting in Somerset needs to have an experienced attorney, because a theft conviction on somebody’s record can be damaging. It can prevent them from being able to get the job that they want and keeping the job that they want. There can be a lot of consequences to being convicted in a shoplifting case.

Sometimes people forget that just because they are charged with a crime, it does not mean that they are going to be convicted of a crime. It is important to understand that under our rules, even if someone is guilty of a crime, they still have the right to put on a defense and to have an attorney.

The burden is on the state to prove that the defendant committed a crime; the burden is not on the defendant. An attorney’s role is to help their client achieve a favorable outcome in their criminal matter. Regardless of a person’s guilt, they still should be consulting with a Somerset shoplifting attorney, because it is possible that the state may not be able to prove the case against the defendant.

Defining Shoplifting

Shoplifting is a term of art. It is shorthand to describe a theft that has been committed from a store. There is no actual crime specifically called “shoplifting”.  The term shoplifting is not in the Annotated Code of Maryland. It is some form of theft, depending on the value of the items taken.

If $50 worth of merchandise was stolen from a store, that is a misdemeanor theft that carries a maximum penalty of 90 days. If $500 worth of goods were stolen from the store, that is a different situation.

To convict someone of a theft, the state has to prove that the defendant took and carried away the property of another person or the property of a store. And, they did so with the intent to permanently deprive the owner from ever having the property back. A Somerset shoplifting lawyer can contest the state’s claim in this regard.

Shoplifting is a subset of theft, and so would require the same proof in order to achieve conviction.

How it Differs from Larceny

Larceny is another term of art that has been taken over by the language of the statute. Larceny, embezzlement, and things like that are terms that refer to specific situations between who owns the property and who was doing the taking.

In Maryland, shoplifting is theft, specifically taking and carrying away something that belongs to somebody else and doing it with the intent to permanently deprive them of the property.

Shoplifting Laws

In Maryland, the annotated code governs what the different criminal offenses are. Shoplifting is a term that means theft from a store. For example, walking into Walmart, taking an item, not paying for it, and leaving the store with the intent to keep that item permanently is shoplifting.

How serious the type of theft is depends on the value of the item taken. If someone takes something that is less than a $100, that is the least serious type of theft. Taking something that has a value of $10,000 or greater is considered a felony theft, which would have serious penalties, including potentially prison time.

Potential Penalties in Somerset

The penalty for shoplifting will be determined by the value of whatever item was taken. For example, if a person stole an item worth $5 or $10, that is the least serious type of theft in Maryland. It is a misdemeanor theft. At the other end of the spectrum, if someone has stolen a property that has a value of $5,000 or $10,000, that type of theft is considered a felony theft and could potentially carry prison time. The possible penalty depends on the value of what was taken. No matter the value and level of the crime, it is essential to consult with a shoplifting lawyer in Somerset, in order to start building a defense.

Somerset Shoplifting Lawyer