Since both, petty theft and shoplifting, share many characteristics, they are often used interchangeably. Both of them involve taking something of little value; however, they can have serious consequences.
Let us take a look at both of them in greater detail:
As the name suggests, is a relatively low-key offense. It involves stealing something of meager value in dollars.
If the theft involves a high-priced item, it is called larceny. To be convicted for petty theft in the court of law, the following must be proved without doubt:
The victim of the theft must have some sort of possessory interest in the item stolen. This means that although the victim may not be the owner, he/she must have a right to possess the item. For example, a guy borrows a cap from his friend, and if the cap gets stolen from this guy, he would be the victim in the eyes of the law.
Movement – No Matter How Slight
The item has to be moved away from its original place of location. If the movement is made, then no matter how slight it is, it will come under the category of petty theft.
Petty theft involves taking an item without the consent of the owner. This includes taking something by deceit as well. For example, a librarian lends a book to a person expecting to get it back, but the person never intended to return it.
Intent of Permanently Depriving
It should be proved in the court that the accused intended to deprive the owner of the item and keep it. It does not matter whether the owner got the item back, what matters is the state of mind of the accused at the time of action.
Shoplifting is a kind of petty theft and involves stealing of merchandise worth less than a specific amount from a store. Shoplifting may also include;
- Altering or removing price tags
- Removing or trying to remove security tags
- Slightly pushing an item so that it enters the cart that is already paid for
- Changing an item’s packaging or hiding it among other merchandise
Defense against Petty Theft and Shoplifting Crimes
Being charged of petty theft and shoplifting crimes may put you in an embarrassing situation. At this time of plight, you need to hire a professional who can help you prepare a solid defense case and get out of this with an unblemished reputation.
The shoplifting crimes lawyers and petty theft attorneys at Robinson Kardon are some of the most reliable defense practitioners in Torrance. With solid expertise and immense experience of the local criminal justice system, they have helped many clients get through this ordeal safe and sound.