Charleston Shoplifting Attorney
Experienced Defense Against Shoplifting Charges in South Carolina
If you are convicted of shoplifting, you could face severe penalties, including jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record. A conviction can also have negative effects on your ability to find employment and housing in the future. At Seibert Law Firm, our Charleston shoplifting lawyers understand the seriousness of these charges, and that's why we are dedicated to guiding you through this challenging legal process.
Call Seibert Law Firm today at (843) 428-6360 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our shoplifting lawyer in Charleston.
What is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting involves the unlawful taking of merchandise or goods from a store or retailer to permanently deprive the owner of those items without paying the full retail value. Shoplifting can take various forms, such as:
- Concealing Merchandise: This includes hiding items in your bag, clothing, or personal belongings to avoid paying for them.
- Switching Price Tags: Changing item price tags to pay a lower price is also considered shoplifting.
- Walking Out Without Paying: Leaving a store with unpaid merchandise, also known as "walking out," is a common form of shoplifting.
- Collaborating with Others: Shoplifting can be an individual act or involve multiple individuals working together to steal merchandise.
What are the Penalties for Shoplifting in South Carolina?
The penalties for shoplifting in South Carolina can vary depending on the value of the stolen items and other factors. Understanding the potential consequences is crucial to determine how best to approach your defense. Here are some of the possible penalties for shoplifting in Charleston:
- Misdemeanor Shoplifting (less than $2,000): Shoplifting merchandise valued at less than $2,000 is typically charged as a misdemeanor. The penalties may include fines, probation, community service, and a criminal record that can impact your future employment and housing prospects.
- Felony Shoplifting (over $2,000): If the stolen merchandise is valued at more than $2,000, you may face felony charges. Felony convictions can result in substantial fines, imprisonment, and a felony record with long-lasting consequences.
- Civil Penalties: In addition to criminal penalties, shoplifters may face civil penalties, which can include a demand for restitution to the store owner.
Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges
Some common defenses against shoplifting charges may include:
- Lack of Intent: If it can be demonstrated that you had no intention to deprive the owner of the merchandise or that it was an honest mistake, we may argue that there was no intent to shoplift.
- False Accusations: Sometimes, you may be falsely accused of shoplifting due to misunderstandings or misidentifications. We can help gather evidence to support your innocence.
- Improper Search and Seizure: If law enforcement or store employees violated your Fourth Amendment rights during a search, the evidence against you may be inadmissible in court.
- Mistaken Identity: If you were mistakenly identified as the person involved in the shoplifting incident, we can challenge the accuracy of the identification.
Contact Our Shoplifting Attorney in Charleston Today
At Seibert Law Firm, our Charleston shoplifting attorney is here to provide skilled legal representation and guide you through every step of your case. We understand your challenges and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and future. Let us be your advocates in the face of shoplifting charges, and rest assured that you have a dedicated legal team by your side.
Contact Seibert Law Firm today to get started with our Charleston shoplifting attorney.