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Shoplifting: A theft charge with special considerations

Being charged with shoplifting is something that can be disheartening, especially when the charge is because of a misunderstanding. For people who have been charged with shoplifting, it is important to understand a few points about shoplifting charges. Our Maryland readers might find these points interesting.

Shoplifting is a farm of larceny that involves merchandise from a business. In a broad sense, a shoplifting charge doesn't necessarily mean that someone is found walking out of the store with goods. It can mean simply trying to conceal merchandise, which can lead to an implied intent to leave the establishment with the items.

Interestingly enough, it is possible to be charged with shoplifting if someone tries to change the price on an item to avoid paying the full price. This can mean actually changing the price stickers or moving the item from one package that would charge full price to another price that would charge a lower price.

There are some other interesting caveats about detaining people who are accused of shoplifting. Generally, private citizens can't hold other people against their will. There are some instances in which stores might be able hold people who are accused of shoplifting. In those cases, the accused shoplifter wouldn't be able to claim he or she was falsely imprisoned.

The consequences of shoplifting can vary, so it is important that anyone facing these theft charges work to understand the consequences he or she faces. Gathering evidence and planning a defense as quickly as possible might also help your defense. As part of that process, you should get answers to any questions you may have regarding your charges, potential plea deals, the evidence against you, and the consequences you face.

Source: FindLaw, "Shoplifting" Oct. 04, 2014

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