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Shoplifting charges can stem from several scenarios

Facing criminal charges can be a scary prospect for anyone. When the charge you are facing is a theft charge, the impact of a conviction can be serious. Even though shoplifting is usually a misdemeanor charge, a conviction can affect a variety of life necessities, such as finding housing or getting a job if your criminal history is checked.

Shoplifting occurs when a person takes things from a store without paying for them. This can include either walking out of a store with merchandise or concealing the merchandise in a way that makes someone believe that you are going to try to leave without paying for the items.

While some people might think that you have to be caught actually trying to leave the store with the merchandise, that isn't always the case. It is possible for the concealment of merchandise to be considered evidence that you intend to take the merchandise without paying for it.

Shoplifting can also include trying to avoid paying the full price for an item if you manipulate price tags on items or change the packaging on items. For example, if you place a clearance tag on an item that should be full price, that can be considered shoplifting. If you place a smartphone in the packaging for an mp3 player that costs less, that is shoplifting.

If you have been charged with shoplifting, you need to get started on your defense right away. Exploring your options for your defense might help you to decide what you are going to about the criminal charges against you.

Source: FindLaw, "Shoplifting," accessed Sep. 22, 2015

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