BAKERSFIELD SHOPLIFTING DEFENSE ATTORNEY
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 California.
To be convicted of shoplifting, one must pick up and "intend" to permanently
deprive the store of the value of the merchandise. 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 are filed because store security loss prevention
officers cannot prove that the person did not bring the goods in to the store in
the first place.
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
In some cases a person may be charged with burglary if it can be proven they
entered the store with the intent to steal. 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
Lawyer can help you to avoid jail, discuss the penalties and punishment for
shoplifting and petty theft or assist in clearing your record.
Call us for help 661-327-7833