Building a Virginia Beach Shoplifting Defense

A strong defense to a shoplifting charge is fact-specific. The defense strategy will change with every new set of facts. Perhaps the prosecutor cannot prove value or they cannot establish the identity of the accused. Every approach depends on the facts.

If you are facing charges, reach out to a dedicated shoplifting lawyer. An experienced attorney could help you with building a Virginia Beach shoplifting defense. Call today and set up your consultation.

What Needs to Be Proven in Shoplifting Cases?

A prosecutor must prove a willful (not accidental or innocent) concealment of goods for the purpose of converting the goods to one’s own use. Just like petit larceny and grand larceny, the prosecutor must prove the elements had value and that the item was on sale or that at least was worth something. For felony shoplifting, the prosecutor must prove the items at issue had a value of $500 or more.

Shoplifting requires that the prosecutor prove that the accused willfully concealed merchandise. Other theft-related offenses do not necessarily concern concealment or even merchandise. Also, other theft-related crimes are concerned more with personal property and do not require concealment. For example, if an individual is in someone’s home and takes a water bottle and walks out the door, that would be theft, but it would not be shoplifting.

Filing for Discovery

The first step to building a shoplifting defense in Virginia Beach is filing for discovery. Through discovery, a shoplifting lawyer can find out what statements the accused made to law enforcement and any criminal history of the defendant. Next, after consultation with the accused, the lawyer will speak with any witnesses involved. Witnesses in a shoplifting case may include the arresting officer and any asset protection employees.

Negotiating with the Prosecutor

Hiring a shoplifting lawyer will help a defendant deal with a prosecutor. They will know the local customs of the jurisdiction, as well as the prosecutors and options an accused may have so that the prosecutor might be more willing to agree to a reduced charge and/or a favorable sentence.

Shoplifting is a type of larceny, so the defenses will be more similar than different from other theft cases. Since shoplifting requires the extra element of ‘concealment,’ an attorney can argue that no concealment took place or that it was not done with the intent to convert the property to the accused’s own use or deprive the owner of that property.

Benefits of Having Legal Counsel

When building a Virginia Beach theft defense, having a lawyer by one’s side is crucial. An attorney, of course, will know the law and trial procedure. If necessary, an attorney will also be able to negotiate with prosecutors, the police, and other parties to ensure a favorable outcome, such as a deferred sentence, reduced sentence, or even a dismissal.

At an arraignment, the lawyer will set a trial date for the defendant and, if needed, address the accused’s bond.

Contact an Attorney About Building a Shoplifting Defense in Virginia Beach

Every jurisdiction is different. A local attorney will know the local prosecutors, the local judges and local programs and customs that may lead to a lighter sentence or at least save the accused from greater hardship than necessary.

Whenever an individual is charged with a crime, it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The closer in time a person is being charged with a crime, the more that person will remember about the specific facts of the case. The more detailed information given to a lawyer, the better that they will be able to help the defendant.

If you are facing allegations, contact a lawyer today about building a Virginia Beach shoplifting defense.