Did you know that if someone ever catches you shoplifting in Minnesota that you could be arrested and sent to jail? Yes, that is correct. You can be sent to jail if you are convicted of shoplifting in Minnesota. We all know about shoplifting and what it means to shoplift, right? Shoplifting is when someone takes one or multiple items from a retail store and leaving without paying. Generally, many people think about shoplifting as something children and teenagers do because they are rebellious or because they want attention.
Unfortunately, many people do not take shoplifting seriously. However, shoplifting is listed under the theft category. What does this mean? This means that it will be charged in a similar manner as theft. You can easily find yourself landing in a Minnesota jail because you wanted to grab a pair of pants or earrings from a Minnesota department store.
VALUE OF ITEMS
If you steal an item that is less than $500, your shoplifting charge will be a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor shoplifting charge will be connected to a 90-day jail sentence and a payment of fines that can total $1,000. If you are accused of stealing items that are valued up to $1,000, you will be charged with what is known as a gross misdemeanor. A gross misdemeanor can come with a 1-year jail sentence and a payment of fines total up to $3000.
What if someone steals something that is worth over $1,000? If you are being convicted for the first time, you can expect to be given a felony charge. The felony charge will come with a jail sentence that can total 5 years. You can also expect to pay fines that can total $10,000.
Being convicted of shoplifting can be a huge inconvenience to your life. Not only can it be inconvenient but it can also be very embarrassing. Fortunately, there are various defenses that you can use when you want to prove your innocence. The defenses can also be used if you are hoping to have your shoplifting charges reduced.
What defenses could you use that would be more appropriate for your shoplifting case?
DEFENSE 1: NO PROOF
We are all innocent until proven guilty, right? Even if someone states that can be a witness against you, there is still a chance you can walk away. You should make sure you have a conversation with your attorney about how any witness’s testimony can be challenged, especially if there are any inconsistencies in those testimonies.
DEFENSE 2: THERE WAS NO INTENT TO STEAL
If it cannot be proven that you intended to leave the store without paying for the item you were accused of taking, you cannot be convicted of shoplifting.
DEFENSE 3: IT WAS NOT YOU
Did someone trick you or dare you to shoplift in a Minnesota department store? Maybe you were mistaken for someone else when the security camera footage was reviewed by the store manager. One or more witnesses could have also pointed you out because they mistook you for the person who actually committed the crime. If you have your own witness who can testify on your behalf, you will want to have this person on your side so you can create a case against the person who actually committed the crime.
When you want to strongly defend the shoplifting charges that have been brought up against you, you will need to have a strong defense on your side. It is important that you consult with a professional and experienced Minnesota theft defense lawyer. Do you need to prove your innocence against a shoplifting charge? Do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a consultation.