One of the most frustrating things about fighting a shoplifting charge is the fact that, by definition, this charge involves alleged theft of less than $950. For this small amount, it seems unreasonable to have to fight it in court, yet if you are not guilty then this is exactly what you need to do. The good news is that there are defense options. Keep reading to learn three of them, and then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
- Challenging the Alleged Act
- Challenging Witnesses
- Negotiating a Plea Deal
One option is for us to challenge that the alleged act took place at all. Remember that for the prosecution to have met their burden of proof, they must prove two elements. First, they must prove that you intentionally concealed or possessed an item that was being offered for sale. Second, they must prove that your intention was to deprive the store of the item permanently without paying for it.
Both of these elements require that intent is proven. We might work to show that you did not intend to shoplift. For example, you might have simply forgotten to pay for the item. It might be that the item was at the bottom of your shopping basket and you forgot it was there. Unless the prosecution can prove both elements of the alleged crime, they have not proven their case.
It is often the case that a shoplifting case comes down to a witness against the alleged perpetrator. If the prosecution has a witness that is unreliable, biased, or is simply mistaken in what they saw, then we will fight to make sure that this is clear to the judge and/or jury.
If you are working with an experienced criminal defense attorney, then they might be able to negotiate a deal that you can live with. This could include having your arrest or conviction expunged if you do not commit another crime within a certain amount of time. In other cases, your attorney could negotiate with the owner of the store themselves to prevent a shoplifting charge from being filed. You could end up spending a few hours doing community service instead of paying hefty fines or spending time in jail.
Call an Attorney Today for the Best Chance of Beating Your Shoplifting Charge
If you want to increase the chance that you can move forward quickly from this charge, then we strongly suggest you contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation. We can carefully assess the situation you are facing to find the best way possible. We encourage you to call us sooner rather than later.