Summerville Shoplifting Lawyer

Shoplifting is a common theft charge. Many people have, intentionally or unintentionally, walked out of a retail establishment with something for which they did not pay the full sales price.

Even though shoplifting can seem like a minor offense, someone faced with a charge may face serious consequences. A skilled Summerville shoplifting lawyer can help you fight your case. Speak with a diligent criminal defense attorney in your community to learn about any reasonable remedies you may have for protecting yourself.

Shoplifting Offenses and Penalties for Conviction

Under the South Carolina Code of Laws §16-13-105, the offense of shoplifting can occur in a wide range of ways, and inferences may be drawn from the circumstances and the alleged shoplifter’s actions. Shoplifting occurs when someone, without paying full retail value for merchandise and with intent to deprive the merchant in some way, (1) takes possession of, carries away, or transfers the merchandise; (2) alters, transfers, or removes a marking, label, or tag on merchandise displayed for sale and attempts to purchase it for less than full value; or (3) transfers merchandise from one container to another.

For merchandise worth $2,000 or less, the person involved receives a misdemeanor charge and if convicted faces a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to 30 days. For merchandise worth over $2,000, they receive a felony charge of Grand Larceny, and if convicted, face a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to five years unless the merchandise value exceeds $10,000, in which case conviction brings a prison sentence of up to ten years.

Concealment of Unpurchased Retail Goods

Under S.C. Code §16-13-120, a shopper’s willful concealment of retail goods either on or outside the retail premises on which they were originally found may give rise to a presumption that the shopper is willfully concealing the goods to convert them to their own use without paying for them. Finding the goods concealed on the shopper or among their belongings may also be inferred as evidence of willful concealment, as may the shopper’s causing the goods to be concealed on the person of another. These inferences may lead to a shoplifting charge.

Someone charged in Summerville with shoplifting after allegedly concealing goods on or outside the premises of a retail establishment or in any of the other ways described here may have a valid reason to question the charge. Under these conditions, it would make sense to get in touch with with a Summerville shoplifting lawyer to discuss possible defenses and arguments they could use to prevent a conviction.

Discuss Your Options With a Summerville Shoplifting Attorney

Any charge that threatens to become a conviction on your record is worth taking seriously and discussing with a local attorney who understands the shoplifting and theft laws in South Carolina. Contact a Summerville shoplifting lawyer to learn about building a defense that could work in your case. Call today to get started.