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Shoplifting Charges in Connecticut

Posted on in Theft and Property Crimes

Stamford, CT Retail Theft Defense AttorneySome people think of shoplifting as a petty crime, usually committed by teens on a dare from their friends. However, the reality is that shoplifting – also referred to as retail theft – is a serious charge that could result in significant penalties if the person charged is convicted.

If you have been charged with retail theft, you need a skilled Stamford defense attorney advocating for you.

Shoplifting Charges

Under Connecticut law, there are two different ways a person can be charged with shoplifting. They have either taken merchandise from the store without paying for it or they have switched the tags or packaging of one item with the tags or packaging of another item that has a lower price.

The category of crime you are charged with depends on the dollar value of the items that you are accused of shoplifting:

  • $500 or less – Class C misdemeanor. Up to 3 months in jail and a fine of $500 if convicted.

  • $500 to $1,000 – Class B misdemeanor. Up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $1,000 if convicted.

  • $1,000 to $2,000 – Class A misdemeanor. Up to 1 year in jail and a fine of $2,000 if convicted.

  • $2,000 and $10,000 – Class D misdemeanor. Up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000 if convicted.

  • $10,000 and $20,000 – Class C felony. Up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 if convicted.

  • $20,000 and up – Class B felony. Up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 if convicted.

Defenses to Shoplifting

Just because you have been arrested for retail theft, it does not mean that you will automatically be convicted. While every case has its own set of unique circumstances, there are some factors that a defense attorney may be able to show that can result in a not guilty verdict or even the charges being dismissed. These factors are:

The taking of the item was accidental.

In order to prove a person is guilty of a crime, the prosecutor must prove that the person had intent to commit the crime. This means that in order to get a conviction, the prosecutor must prove the accused knowingly took the item with no intention of paying for it. If the defense attorney can show the accused mistakenly left the store without realizing they had not paid for it, they can be found not guilty.  

The accused was unaware their companion was committing the crime.

There are many situations where a person is shopping with a friend and is completely unaware that the friend is committing retail theft. Unfortunately, if that friend is caught, it is highly probable the police will believe that the two were working together. A defense attorney has several options for proving the accused did not know their friend was committing a crime, including video footage from the store’s security cameras.

Call a Fairfield County Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with retail theft, call Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Stamford, CT shoplifting attorney and find out what your legal options may be.

Source:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_952.htm#sec_53a-119