Lexington Shoplifting Attorney
Defending You Against Charges of Theft
All shoplifting charges are serious. Not only does a first offense carry a risk of jail, it is also considered a crime of moral turpitude. Once a shoplifting conviction is placed on your criminal record it can make it substantially more difficult for the rest of your life to gain employment or pass any background check. This is even more serious for someone young or with no prior criminal record. At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, our Lexington criminal lawyers work hard to help our clients avoid the criminal penalties of a shoplifting arrest or conviction.
South Carolina's shoplifting law is codified in S.C. Code §16-13-110. The elements of shoplifting are the taking, carrying away, or concealing of merchandise offered for sale from any store or merchant. Shoplifting charges can also be brought for changing shelf tags, price labels, moving items from one location in a store to another, assisting someone else with shoplifting or simply hiding the item on your person. There is no requirement that you actually must leave the store or pass the cash registers to be arrested. You can also be investigated and arrested for shoplifting if someone in your party committed the crime.
What is the penalty for shoplifting?
Shoplifting can either be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the merchandise as well as the number of prior shoplifting or other
property crime convictions. Pursuant to S.C. Code §16-1-57, individuals with two or more property crime convictions can face up to ten years' imprisonment for any new shoplifting charge, regardless of the small value of the merchandise involved. If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting there are options available to you, the police, and the court as to how your case may be resolved. These include:
- Prosecution dismissal for lack of evidence
- Pre-trial intervention
- Plea negotiations
- Civil damages in lieu of criminal prosecution
- Bench trial
- Jury trial
James R. Snell, Jr. is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has represented individuals charged with all levels of shoplifting. As a Lexington shoplifting defense attorney he knows what evidence is necessary for the police or store to succeed in court and what factual or legal defenses will be available for your case. Depending on the facts of your case it may be possible to develop a strong defense through interviewing the witnesses, filing discovery motions with the court, issuing evidence subpoenas, or utilizing private investigators.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Our firm represents clients charged with both misdemeanor and felony shoplifting charges in Lexington, Columbia and other areas throughout South Carolina. We are also able to help those convicted of shoplifting appeal their conviction. To schedule your no cost consultation with our office about your case, call us 24 hours a day or contact us online.