Many people have committed the crime of shoplifting at some point in their lives. Whether it is a teenager stealing a chocolate bar or a desperate single mother stealing a bag of pasta to feed her family, these crimes are all too common in the modern world. The question of whether these crimes are acceptable from a moral standpoint is irrelevant when you are facing charges. In this situation, there is a much more important question: “How do I avoid charges?”
DO: Explore Effective Defense Strategies
Your first step should be to explore effective defense strategies with a qualified attorney. Depending on your unique situation, there may be a number of strategies that could be effective. On December 7, 2022, it was reported that police in La Grange had arrested the “wrong sister” for a shoplifting incident at Home Depot. The police were essentially misled by a Home Depot employee, who accused the sister of committing the crime because she looked almost identical to the real culprit. The police were then forced to issue a formal apology and drop all charges. Perhaps due to this misunderstanding, charges against the real culprit were also dropped.
Mistaken identity can be an effective defense strategy when faced with shoplifting charges. You may simply look very similar to someone caught on camera. Perhaps you were caught up with a group of friends who shoplifted while you stood by and watched. If an employee mistakes you for one of the guilty parties simply because you were with other shoplifters, this is usually not enough to convict you.
DON’T: Try to Run
If you are accused of shoplifting, the worst thing you can do is run. It is always best to plead your innocence, accept an arrest, and comply with officers. After initially pleading innocence, you should exercise your right to remain silent and ask to speak with an attorney before making any other decisions. In August 2022, it was reported that a man had fled the scene after being charged with shoplifting, leading police down a sewer before he was ultimately caught. This made his legal issues much worse, as he was charged with “fleeing or attempting to elude for a felony offense” in addition to a simple shoplifting offense for allegedly stealing copper wire.
Attacking a police officer after being accused of shoplifting is even worse. In October of 2022, a Georgia man in Newnan was charged with aggravated assault and obstruction after stabbing an officer in the hand. He was allegedly trying to leave a store with several bags of stolen clothes at the time of the crime.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in Georgia?
If you have been charged with shoplifting in Georgia, you need to get in touch with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Choose Lankford & Moore Law to develop a solid defense strategy and avoid unnecessary consequences. Book your consultation today to get started.