Whether property is unlawfully taken due to an honest mistake or a momentary lapse of judgment, there are still legal grounds for criminal prosecution. While shoplifting offenses may seem inconsequential, there is nothing less serious than possible terms of imprisonment and a criminal record. If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting, a skilled and dedicated Olathe shoplifting lawyer from Garretson & Toth, LLC is prepared to fight aggressively on your behalf.
What Is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting involves taking property, items, or other merchandise from a store without rendering payment and without the authorization of the retail owner. In Kansas, shoplifting does not have a separate statute but is rather considered general theft. The penalties and severity of the charge will differ depending on the value of goods taken.
Shoplifting charges are often prosecuted as class A nonperson misdemeanors because the value of the property taken is usually less than $1,000. Misdemeanor offenses still result in unsavory criminal records and are punishable by up to one year in a county jail.
Tough prosecutors can quickly turn a minor shoplifting offense into a felony charge for several reasons. If the property is valued at more than $1,000, felony theft crime charges will be prosecuted. Shoplifting can also be enhanced to a felony if an individual has stolen property from three separate establishments within 72 hours, or when they have two or more prior theft convictions on their record.
While our ultimate goal is to do everything in our power to have your charges dismissed, our Olathe shoplifting lawyers also focus on ensuring that prosecutors do not enhance a shoplifting offense to a felony. This is only possible through thorough case analysis, investigation and meticulous preparation. There are a number of defense strategies that can be used to deflect shoplifting allegations and they can be strengthened immensely with swift action and legal consultation. Shoplifting charges can be defended and our Kansas criminal defense firm has the experience and legal skills to do so effectively.
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