Is Shoplifting an “Arrest” and how to Resolve a Shoplifting Case

Stamford-City-Hal-GMB--300x225Shoplifting is a Misdemeanor in Connecticut 

Many clients who contact our office about a shoplifting arrest do not think that it is an “arrest” because, in most cases, the police do not put handcuffs on you and bring you to the police station.    Rather, most of the time, the police will issue you a misdemeanor summons and complaint ticket.  Because these summonses resemble traffic tickets, many people erroneously assume that the fact they were issued a black book ticket means that they were not arrested.  On the contrary, a shoplifting charge is usually larceny in the 6th degree, a criminal offense.  The difference between larceny in the 6th C.G.S. 53a-125b and larceny in the 5th degree C.G.S. 53a-125a depends on the value of the items alleged to have been stolen. Larceny in the 6th degree covers alleged thefts up to $500 larceny in the 5th-degree covers thefts over $500 to a maximum of $1,000.    These are both considered crimes of moral turpitude as they relate to the honesty and trustworthiness of an individual.  As such, it is important when charged with shoplifting to contact the best  Stamford criminal attorney to explore the best way to get your case resolved without obtaining a criminal record for shoplifting.

In some situations, a good criminal defense attorney can convince the State’s Attorney to nolle or drop the charge based upon mitigating circumstances.  In other cases, it may be necessary to use a diversionary program such as the accelerated rehabilitation program.   The best course of action is to review the circumstances of your case with an experienced attorney to plan the best approach to resolving your case.

Shoplifting Cases are on the Rise due to Inflation 

Everywhere on the news, we hear of prices increasing dramatically this year on just about everything a family needs to buy regularly, especially gasoline and food prices.   This economic duress has caused some clients to seek relief from higher pricing by switching price tags or cheating at self-checkout lanes.  Stores such as Home Depot, Walmart, and Kohls have some of the most advanced loss prevention teams and are very common places where our clients are arrested for shoplifting.  These stores employ very advanced facial recognition technology and video equipment to monitor the entire store for any suspicious activity.   While many of our clients lately assert that they were shoplifting because they are having a tough time economically due to inflation, not all shoplifting cases are driven by economic necessity.   In many situations, individuals under a lot of additional stress from external factors often find themselves shoplifting as some form of emotional escape.  For example, individuals who have recently lost a loved one, been diagnosed with some illness, or are having stress at home often find themselves being arrested for shoplifting also.

Shoplifting Cases are Usually Easy to Resolve 

The good news is that a shoplifting arrest usually will result in the dismissal of the charges if it is your first criminal offense.   For those who have prior larceny convictions, then it needs to be treated seriously.   3 larceny convictions can result in treatment as a persistent larceny offender, a felony offense.   If you have been arrested for shoplifting, speak with an experienced Stamford Criminal Lawyer today to review the best course of action.  Call today for a free consultation at (203) 357-5555.









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