Cincinnati Shoplifting Attorney
Shoplifting or petty theft is a common offense in Ohio, committed by people from all walks of life. People have very different reasons for why they might steal. And since it is so common, innocent people are often mistakenly charged. Regardless of the specifics, petty theft is a serious criminal offense with severe consequences. Shoplifting and other theft offenses are also crimes of moral turpitude, which means they are determined to be dishonest or against the good standards of justice in the community.
As a result, convictions theft convictions have long-lasting effects. A dedicated Cincinnati criminal defense attorney can defend you and reduce the impact on the rest of your life. Call LHA at (513) 338-1890 for a free consultation if you’re accused of shoplifting in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Shoplifting Charges
In Ohio, shoplifting is not its own crime. Most acts of shoplifting are rather petty theft crimes. According to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2913.02), Petty theft can be defined as purposefully depriving another person of their property and knowingly taking control of it. At least one of the following elements must apply for an act to be considered theft:
- Done without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
- Beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
- Through deception;
- By threat; or
- By intimidation.
Essentially, taking an item that is not yours through coercing, misleading, or forgoing the consent of the rightful party is considered theft. It is called shoplifting when the theft is from a business or retail store.
Penalties for Shoplifting
If the amount allegedly taken was $1,000 or less, petty theft is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. This entails up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. Most cases of shoplifting fall under petty theft crimes.
If the amount is $1,000 and above, you will face felony theft charges.
In addition to jail time and fines, a shoplifting conviction will be on your permanent criminal record. This carries a severe stigma and additional consequences that can impact your personal and social life.
You may face difficulty keeping or finding a job after a shoplifting incident, financial trouble, difficulty pursuing an education, tension with family and friends, and trouble maintaining custody of your children.
If you are arrested or charged with shoplifting or theft, it is imperative that you immediately consult with an experienced criminal attorney. This lets you build a strong defense and pursue a favorable outcome.
Knowing the penalties for petty theft in Hamilton County, Ohio, you may feel anxious over how a conviction will impact your reputation and future.
You can help protect your freedom by building a solid defense with a lawyer who is aggressive in their tactics. There are several defenses against a petty theft charge for shoplifting, including the following:
Lack of Criminal Intent
Since theft in Ohio involves purposefully taking property, prosecutors must prove there was criminal intent behind your actions. Arguing you did not shoplift on purpose can be vital in avoiding conviction and getting petty theft charges dropped.
Unintentional shoplifting can occur in many scenarios. Maybe you ran errands with kids who found something new to beg for in every aisle. And by the time you completed an ever-growing checklist, you hadn’t noticed something had made its way into your pocket. You may have also failed to scan an item in a self-checkout and tried to exit with it.
No matter your individual case, you deserve the chance to remedy an honest mistake without a theft conviction. By proving a lack of criminal intent in your defense, charges can get dropped, and you can move on with your life freely.
You might be accused of shoplifting without even taking an item at all. Your features could closely match a description, or you might be a victim of biased profiling.
Misidentification can happen, especially if crowds of people walk in and out of a store. Your attorney can help you with your airtight alibi and provide compelling evidence that proves you are not the perpetrator.
Shoplifting Diversion Programs
Many people have done things they are not proud of, but you can have a future that is not defined by mistakes. Sometimes, your lawyer may convince the court you need help instead of serious consequences.
A diversion program can help address the root of your shoplifting and let you avoid a theft conviction. Completing a diversion program could give you a fresh start through dismissal or reduced penalties.
Arrested for Shoplifting in Cincinnati? Contact LHA
Criminal charges can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. You are probably worried about your reputation, record, and freedom. The Cincinnati Criminal Defense team at LHA is here for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us.