Attorney Bruce Blythe has nearly 20 years experience defending
dismissals is close to 100 percent.  He can help keep a theft conviction off
your criminal record.

Call Bruce at  661-327-7833

Our Law Firm defends charges of petty theft, otherwise known as
shoplifting.  Theft is a crime that occurs when someone removes with the
intent to permanently deprive the owner of merchandise offered for sale
from a  store or every year throughout Bakersfield and the State of

To be convicted of shoplifting, one must pick up and "intend" to
permanently deprive the store of the value of the merchandise. There
must be a nexus between the act of moving the item and the mental state
of permanent deprivation to the true owner.  This necessary element of
the crime is referred to as the act of "asportation" in the legal community.  
Individuals accused of shoplifting are often confused about their rights and
what power the store security has to detain or arrest them for the offense.

As a general rule, The loss prevention or employee must see a shoplifter
enter the store or approach a display and see that the customer does not
have any merchandise in their hand or that they haven’t retrieved a item
from their own purse, bag, or pocket. This safeguard prevents a common
mistake that occurs when a customer brings an item back to the store for a
return and does not check in at the return desk first. If security detains
someone after seeing them replace their own merchandise into their pocket
or bag, the store could be subject to a false arrest claim even though it is a
seemingly honest mistake. Many false arrest claims for shoplifting in
Bakersfield can be traced to the failure of the security guard or loss
prevention officer to properly confirm that the suspect did not actually
bring the item into the store when they entered.

Secondly, the security employee should observe the suspected shoplifter
select the merchandise, this can be done on the store floor or through
watching the individual on a store security camera. Store employees can
misunderstand when they see a customer innocently put an item into their
pocket or purse and not realize that the customer had brought the item into
the store with them for comparison purposes. If the employee can
positively and honestly state that they saw the shoplifter remove store
merchandise from the display prior to concealing it, then they may have a
strong foundation for proof of a Bakersfield shoplifting criminal case.

Furthermore, the loss prevention employee or store security guard should
see the shoplifter conceal, carry away, or convert the merchandise. This
includes concealment in shopping bags, purses, hand bags, strollers, or on
a person. Shoplifting can occur by wearing articles in plain view once the
tags are removed. Shoplifting can occur by conversion, for example, when
consuming food prior to being purchased. An exception to the observation
rule is inside a fitting room or changing area where observation is
impossible. Once inside a fitting room store merchandise can be concealed
almost anywhere. The important factor is to know what items go into the
fitting room and what items don't come out in plain view. The problem is,
the fitting room must be checked beforehand to see if it is clear of
merchandise and after the suspected person exits to see that the missing
items were not simply discarded or thrown in the trash.

In some cases a person may be charged with burglary if it can be proven
they entered the store with the intent to steal.  These charges can be seen
on the booking documents as a Penal Code 459 offense.  In rare cases
robbery can be charged if the individual fights with or uses force to retain
the stolen goods when confronted by security.

Our Bakersfield criminal defense office has successfully defended many
individuals wrongfully  accused or arrested for all theft related charges.  
Our petty theft lawyer can help you to avoid jail, discuss the penalties and
punishment for shoplifting and petty theft or assist in clearing your record.  
In today's day and age, a criminal conviction for shoplifting, theft or other
moral turpitude crime can deny a person citizenship, or result in
deportation.  It can prevent them from obtaining certain forms of student
aid and keep them from pursuing a career in many types of employment
such as law enforcement, real estate, medicine, government jobs requiring
a security clearance, and many others.

Bruce Blythe , the Bakersfield Shoplifting defense attorney on
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Call us for help  661-327-7833