During the holidays, shoplifting peaks costing retail stores billions of dollars in the final month of the year. Although retailers rack up the highest percentage or sales during the holiday, they also incur billions of dollars in losses so many are loaded for bear to catch and prosecute shoplifters.
Few Understand the Serious Consequences of Shoplifting
Like minor traffic offenses that many Americans commit such as rolling a stop sign or driving too fast, shoplifting is something that generally law abiding people do without giving much thought to the consequences that can affect their future employment opportunities. This is particularly true of young people, including teens, who are inclined toward riskier behavior. Many do not grasp the serious criminal nature of their actions until they are caught.
Short on cash around the holiday season when more merchandise is on display and stores are surging with customers may prove a tempting environment to shoplift a gift for a family member or just on a dare from a group of friends. However, theft protection efforts work, and many shoplifters wind up getting caught.
Penalties for Shoplifting
Petty theft and shoplifting may be seen as insignificant crimes, but the consequences are real. Even what might be a “once in a lifetime” poor choice or shoplifting based on real need in a tough economy can lead to arrest, time in jail, fines and a criminal record that can have a ripple effects for a long time.
Shoplifters may be issued a non-criminal ticket or be charged with theft ranging from misdemeanor charges to felonies depending on the value of the merchandise stolen. While a minor infraction may only result in the payment of a small fine, misdemeanor theft can result in hefty fines and jail time whereas felonies often include time in prison.
Contact an Experienced Shoplifting and Petty Theft Attorney for Immediate Help
If you or a family member has been charged with a retail theft or petty theft crime, including shoplifting, it is important to seek experienced help. Waukesha criminal defense lawyer Andrew C. Ladd has decades experience in Waukesha county criminal court defending his clients charged with retail theft and will aggressively defend you against the charges you face. Call 262-542-3900 for a free consultation or send us a confidential email.