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Shoplifting can result in serious legal consequences

It can be fun for Tennessee residents to window shop through luxurious stores and to daydream about possessing expensive personal goods. While most people stop their fantasies at the showroom doors of their favorite shops, individuals who take items from retail vendors may face the serious crime of shoplifting. This post will offer a brief discussion of what shoplifting involves and how it fits into the greater context of larceny and theft.

Shoplifting is a form of theft. It generally involves the taking of something that does not belong to the taker and the intent of the taker to dispossess the actual owner of having it. It is given its own criminal designation because shoplifting applies particularly to situations of theft in stores, outlets and other retail markets.

Shoplifting can involve concealing a good with the intent to take it. it is from this interpretation of the law that individuals may hear about alleged shoplifters being stopped by store security before they even try to walk out of the doors of the retail center. As a result, a person may be charged with shoplifting if they are suspected of concealing an item they have not paid for even if they have not made any attempt to leave with it.

Depending upon what the alleged shoplifter has taken and the item or items value, their possible charges and punishments could vary. While the alleged shoplifting of a $10 pair of sunglasses may be illegal and punishable as a misdemeanor, the alleged taking of a $5,000 purse may yield a more serious felony charge.

Shoplifting charges should be taken seriously and defended zealously. Even misdemeanor charges can have a negative effect on a person's life, and it may go without saying that felony charges are even worse. To avoid the harsh consequences a conviction of shoplifting may bring, it is important to understand all aspects of the law, and how they apply to your unique circumstances.

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Law Office of Sam Byrd
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Chattanooga, TN 37415

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