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Courtroom defenses against shoplifting

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Going to trial over a shoplifting charge is an anxiety-inducing experience. Should the verdict rule against you, the punishment is bound to be unpleasant and disheartening.

A strong defense is the best way to increase the odds of a favorable outcome. The explanation you put forth will seriously impact the final ruling.

Lack of intent

To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove your intent to steal. Establishing that you are not the type of person inclined toward theft will go a long way toward realizing your exoneration. Explaining that you absentmindedly placed an item in your bag and only later discovered the error could convince a judge and jury that this is not a shoplifting incident.

Mistaken identity

In some cases, shoplifting charges result from eyewitnesses misidentifying perpetrators. This is a persistent problem throughout the world of convictions. Today, DNA is overturning many rulings in criminal cases. One study finds that 69% of these wrongful convictions are due to eyewitness misidentification. Arguing that you were elsewhere during the theft will cast doubt on observer testimony.

Insufficient evidence

Prosecutors must present compelling proof that demonstrates their thinking beyond a reasonable doubt. Gaps in timelines and narrative inconsistencies will raise questions in jurors’ minds. The more they ponder the story that the prosecution is telling, the better your chances of winning.

Before heading to court to face the long arm of the law, it is wise to figure out which defense puts you in the most beneficial light. Explore all the options you have to pinpoint the most convincing legal argument.