Delaware Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
Consequences of shoplifting can range from a small fine to potential jail time. If you or your child have been charged with this crime, contact the shoplifting defense lawyers at Delaware’s Rahaim & Saints today. With offices in Wilmington and Newark, we provide representation for clients throughout the state, including Dover, Bear, Glasgow and beyond.Do I have a case?
Understanding the Charges Against You
Delaware shoplifting laws can be hard to understand sometimes, particularly if you are being charged for the first time. The state penal code defines shoplifting as any incident in which an individual:
- Removes goods from their display case with the intent of taking them without paying or compensating the owner
- Charges goods to someone, or to a fictitious person, without the authority to do so — and keeps the goods for their own use
- Conceals any goods with the intent to remove them from a store without paying
- Alters the label, price tag or packaging of an item
- Hides an item in the packaging of another with the intent of stealing it
- Uses an instrument to falsify a credit slip or another documentation that will allow them to get an item without paying
As these conditions demonstrate, there are certain grey areas surrounding the intent to shoplift an item. A skilled shoplifting defense lawyer will understand these nuances and may be able to reduce or drop your charges.
Consequences of Shoplifting
For any goods worth less than $1500, shoplifting is a class A misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $2300 and as much as a year in jail. Shoplifting property worth more than $1500 is a class G felony, which can be punished by up to two years in prison.
In addition, someone convicted of shoplifting is civilly liable for any losses incurred as a result of the incident. Typically, the merchant will send a demand letter to the guilty party for the retail value of any merchandise not returned in sellable condition. If this amount is paid within 20 days, along with a penalty equal to $150 or the value of the stolen goods (whichever is greater), liability will be released.Meet Criminal Attorney Andrew Rahaim
Probation Before Judgment
First time offenders charged with shoplifting in Delaware may be able to enroll in a diversion program, known as probation before judgment. Under the terms of this program, the accused individual accepts responsibility for the crime without a trial. Follow the successful completion of a period of probation, the charge will be expunged from their record. Probation before judgment is often the best option for a young offender with no previous criminal history, as it will allow them to put this unfortunate incident behind them quickly without any long-lasting consequences.
How a Shoplifting Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Delaware, the defense lawyers at Rahaim & Saints will go over your case with you and help you determine the best way to continue. Whether you pursue probation before judgment or go to trial with your case, we’ll help ensure your interests are protected every step of the way, in both criminal and civil court.
Contact an office near you for your free initial consultation today.