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
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.