4 Criminal Defense Strategies Lawyers Use To Win Shoplifting Cases

1 September 2022
 Categories: , Blog


All types of theft cases can attract severe penalties if you are convicted. Shoplifting charges, in particular, may be punishable by fines, community service, and even jail time. If you're accused of this offense, you should contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and help you obtain a favorable outcome. They are skilled in formulating strategies to win cases and will ensure you regain your freedom. This article discusses four tactics they may use to help you win your case.

The Value of the Merchandise Was Overstated

The prosecution may try to prove that the value of the item you stole is higher than what you claim it to be. If the judge finds out this is true, you may face a higher charge and stiffer penalties. To avoid this, a lawyer can investigate the item you're accused of stealing and determine its real value. If it is lower than what the prosecution claims, they'll fight to get your case dropped or lessened.

Lack of Intent

A shoplifting charge can be more potent if the prosecution proves that you had the intention to steal when you entered the store. Perhaps you were looking at an item more closely than other customers, or you walked into the store with a bag that can be used to hide merchandise. If you can prove that you didn't intend to steal anything, it may be more difficult for the prosecution to convict you. A criminal defense lawyer can collect and present evidence showing your lack of intent. They'll do their best to prove to the judges that you had enough money to pay for the item or that you intended to return the item to the shelf when you decided not to buy it.

Mistake of Fact

It's possible to forget that you have an item in your possession you haven't paid for when leaving a store. You may have put it in your purse or coat pocket without realizing it. If you truly made a mistake, a lawyer can use it as a defense. They'll show how you're honest and reasonable through character witnesses and other evidence.


If you committed an act of shoplifting to avoid some greater harm, a lawyer could use a necessity-based defense to fight for your rights. For example, you may have shoplifted food from a grocery store because you were homeless and starving or stolen medical supplies because you could not afford them.

Every shoplifting case is unique, and the strategy used to win your case may vary depending on the circumstances. If you've been accused of this crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss the best legal options for your situation.

Reach out to a firm such as Rollins Law Group to learn more.