During tough economic times, the theft rate increases and individuals may experience a stronger and unnatural urge to shoplift. In California, shoplifting, also known as petty theft, is the act of taking or stealing property of a merchant that is offered for sale. This crime is considered a misdemeanor in California; however, charges can have serious repercussions and harsh consequences. If you have been charged with shoplifting, or petty theft, and you want to keep your record as clean as possible and reduce or dismiss the charges, contact San Diego Theft Lawyer Ashby Sorensen today. Attorney Sorensen firmly believes in every individual’s legal rights and fights vigorously to create the best possible outcome on your behalf. He understands that facing theft charges can be a stressful and complicated time, and as such, his goal is to help you through the process every step of the way.
Possible Charges and Punishment for Shoplifting
Although petty theft is classified as a misdemeanor, you can also be charged with a felony depending on the value of the item and the suspect’s prior criminal history. Many people are arrested all the time for shoplifting, however, the majority of individuals are not aware of the requirements that must be met in order to be convicted of shoplifting. Attorney Sorensen understands that the state must prove there was intent to permanently deprive the merchant of the items and will work hard to disprove this fact. He also knows that not all merchants understand the laws in California regarding theft and individuals may be unfairly detained or accused. A qualified theft lawyer will ask relevant and pertinent questions and require the state to prove necessary elements in order for charges to stick. Important factors that are relevant to your defense include things such as the rights of the accused person, the legality of the loss prevention or security offer’s behavior and actions, and the necessity of the amount of force used against the suspect.
Many loss prevention or security officers make the crucial mistake of assuming a suspect is stealing an item when they were simply bringing it back to return it. Officers are required to see the individual enter without any merchant items in their hand first before arresting or charging them with shoplifting. These circumstances often lead to false arrests and can result in a lawsuit against the store or company because the officer acting on the store’s behalf was quick to assume and impulsively made a theft claim without acquiring proper evidence or cause.
Contact Qualified San Diego Theft Lawyer Ashby C. Sorensen Today
If you have been charged with shoplifting, or petty theft in San Diego, it is important that you act quickly and hire an attorney you can trust. Petty theft charges can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, and your representation can have a huge affect on that. You need a theft lawyer by your side fighting for your legal rights while the state is developing its case against you. Call (858) 999-6921 now to schedule your free consultation or ask San Diego Theft Lawyer Ashby Sorensen any questions you may have about your charges.