If you’ve recently been charged with shoplifting, you likely feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. You may envision yourself spending time in jail or getting rejected for jobs in the future. While it’s scary to be charged with shoplifting, it’s important to stay calm and do everything you can to move forward. There are many myths that exist about shoplifting that can cause some individuals to make poor decisions.
Here are some of the most common myths about shoplifting:
Shoplifting is Motivated By Need
One of the most common misconceptions about shoplifting is that it’s done out of necessity. However, very few shoplifters aren’t motivated to steal for a legitimate financial need, like food. More often than not, they may shoplift as a form of thrill-seeking or a serious addiction, like kleptomania.
The Majority of Shoplifted Items Are Expensive
Many people are under the impression that shoplifters steal expensive items, like designer handbags and jewelry. However, the majority of shoplifted items aren’t expensive at all. Some of the most commonly stolen items include lotions, cigarettes and over-the-counter medicines. It’s important to understand, however, that even if you shoplifted inexpensive items, you can still face serious consequences.
Shoplifting Isn’t a Serious Crime
Compared to crimes like murder and assault, shoplifting might not seem like a serious offense. However, depending on the state you live in and your criminal record, you could potentially face serious consequences for shoplifting. For example, if you’re a habitual offender, you may get sentenced to jail time.
Shoplifting Is Always Premeditated
While some people have plans of shoplifting before they enter a store, the majority of shoplifting isn’t premeditated. Most people charged with shoplifting have said that they didn’t plan to steal until they entered the store. They may have been peer pressured into stealing or made a bad decision in one moment.
Shoplifting Doesn’t Hurt Anyone
Another common myth about shoplifting is that it’s a victimless crime. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Shoplifting causes many retailers to lose money throughout the year. This can negatively affect the economy.
You Don’t Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer
While shoplifting is typically a misdemeanor offense, it can still have negative impacts on your life. If you get convicted of shoplifting, you may have trouble obtaining employment, renting an apartment or even getting child custody rights. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can protect your legal rights and try to minimize the penalties as much as possible.
If you were recently charged with shoplifting, you should speak to a theft lawyer in San Mateo, CA. They know how scary it can be to be charged with a crime and want to offer their assistance. Please contact a law firm today to set up a consultation.
Thanks to the Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and common myths about shoplifting.