Shoplifting Savannah GA

How to Beat a Shoplifting Charge

No matter the time of year, people are constantly being charged with shoplifting in the Savannah area. If you are facing a shoplifting charge, you should know that there are several things that an aggressive criminal lawyer can do to help you beat it.

First, I always go to the store to speak with the management about the incident. Even though the store does not control the prosecutor’s decision of whether or not to prosecute the case, many times I can influence how strongly the prosecution pursues the case by persuading the store’s management that they should not seek to “throw the book” at my client. There is no substitute for going to the store to speak with the management, but they will probably not talk about the case unless your attorney goes for you.

Secondly, I always request and review the surveillance footage of the store. Every retail store, whether it is Wal-Mart or Publix, is under constant surveillance. However, you must ask early on for a copy of the surveillance footage, because many stores will destroy it after a short period of time. In order to beat a shoplifting charge, you must show that the defendant did not take anything from the store, nor did he have the “intent to deprive” the store of any of its merchandise without purchasing it. The video can be crucial in cases where someone accidentally takes merchandise, because it can show things that are likely to be omitted when the case is presented—things like whether the person actually tried to leave the store before they were apprehended or if they were still shopping and just did not have an opportunity to pay for an item.

Finally, many large retailers employ a risk management team that makes the decisions about how strongly to prosecute shoplifting cases. I know many of the risk management team members for most stores around Savannah and Coastal Georgia, and they can be very influential in helping to get charges dropped. Contacting them does take a good bit of effort, since they are almost always not located near the individual store. However, it is so important that I do it in every shoplifting case.

Shoplifting is a serious charge, and it can affect your future school and job prospects. If you are faced with a shoplifting charge, you need a lawyer that knows how to get the charge dropped and keep it off your record.  Act fast and complete our secure online case evaluation form to get started.

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