Morgantown Shoplifting Lawyer

Aggressive Defense for Shoplifting Charges in West Virginia

Shoplifting is a serious criminal offense in West Virginia. If you are convicted, you could face jail time, fines, and other penalties. Additionally, a shoplifting conviction will result in a permanent criminal record, which can make it difficult to find a job, secure housing, or obtain a loan. If you have been accused of shoplifting, it is important that you take the matter seriously and seek legal representation right away. At Rollo Law Offices, our Morgantown shoplifting attorneys are dedicated to safeguarding your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome for your case.

Call Rollo Law Offices today at (304) 449-3504 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our shoplifting attorney in Morgantown.

What is Shoplifting?

Shoplifting involves stealing merchandise from a store or retail establishment without paying for it. In West Virginia, shoplifting is considered a serious crime. It is important to understand that shoplifting goes beyond merely concealing an item and leaving a store; it can encompass a wide range of actions that can result in criminal charges.

Common actions that can lead to shoplifting charges include:

  • Concealment: Hiding merchandise on your person, in a bag, or underneath other items with the intention of leaving the store without paying.
  • Altering Labels or Packaging: Changing or removing price tags or labels to pay less for an item or attempting to pass off an item as belonging to a lower-priced category.
  • Switching Packaging: Transferring merchandise from its original packaging to a different container to avoid detection when exiting the store.
  • Collusion: Working with others to commit shoplifting, either by distracting store personnel or acting as lookouts.
  • Leaving the Store: Exiting a store with unpaid merchandise, even if it was unintentional or due to forgetfulness.
  • Employee Theft: Shoplifting can also involve store employees who steal merchandise, money, or services from their employer.

What are the Penalties for Shoplifting in West Virginia?

The penalties for shoplifting in West Virginia may differ depending on the value of the stolen merchandise and other circumstances surrounding the offense. It's important to note that shoplifting charges can result in both criminal and civil penalties. Below are the potential consequences you could face if convicted of shoplifting:

  • For merchandise valued at less than $1,000: Shoplifting is typically classified as a misdemeanor, carrying penalties that may include fines up to $500, probation, and up to one year in county jail.
  • For merchandise valued at $1,000 or more: Shoplifting of higher-value items can lead to felony charges, which may result in substantial fines and imprisonment for more than one year.
  • Probation: Shoplifters may be placed on probation, requiring regular check-ins, compliance with court orders, and community service.
  • Criminal Record: A shoplifting conviction can lead to a criminal record, which can have a lasting impact on your future employment, housing, and reputation.
  • Loss of Civil Rights: A felony shoplifting conviction can result in the loss of certain civil rights, like the right to vote and possess firearms.

Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges

Some common defenses against shoplifting charges may include the following:

  • Mistaken Identity: If you were wrongly identified as the shoplifter, we can gather evidence to prove that you are not the individual who committed the crime.
  • Lack of Intent: Shoplifting charges require intent. If you accidentally left a store with unpaid merchandise or had no intention of stealing, we can use this as a defense.
  • Illegal Search and Seizure: If the evidence was obtained through an unlawful search or seizure, we can challenge the admissibility of that evidence in court.
  • Insufficient Evidence: We can challenge the prosecution's case by highlighting weaknesses or inconsistencies in the evidence against you.
  • Negotiation: In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecution for a reduction in charges or a diversion program, which can help you avoid a criminal record.

Contact Our Shoplifting Attorney in Morgantown Today

The consequences of a shoplifting conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, but with the help of our dedicated team at Rollo Law Offices, you can mount a strong defense. Our Morgantown shoplifting lawyers are committed to protecting your rights, exploring all possible defenses, and working toward the best resolution for your case. Your future is worth protecting, and we are here to help you do just that.

Contact Rollo Law Offices today to get started with our Morgantown shoplifting lawyer.

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