Shoplifting is so common that many stores have included signs in restrooms and dressing rooms warning people that shoplifting is a criminal act. This doesn’t mean that it is okay to shoplift. In fact, quite the opposite is true. If you are facing shoplifting charges, you should find out how points in the law apply to your case.

One point that must be present in shoplifting cases is that you must have had the intent to deprive the owner of goods or payment. This means that you shouldn’t be considered a shoplifter if you place an item at the bottom of a cart and honestly forget to give it to the cashier to ring up.

Another point you should know is that you don’t have to take the item without any payment to be charged with shoplifting. You can be charged with shoplifting if you change out tags so that you don’t pay full price for an item.

You could also face shoplifting charges if you try to conceal merchandise. This means that you wouldn’t have to try to make it out of the store with the items. Instead, you could face charges if you try to hide something while you walk in the store.

If you are facing shoplifting charges, don’t think that you should ignore them. Instead, take a proactive stance so you can get your defense off on the right foot. You don’t want the outcome of the case to be decided by a last-minute defense decision that doesn’t address the prosecutions’ claims and evidence against you.

Source: FindLaw, “Shoplifting,” accessed Dec. 23, 2016