A Dallas law enforcement officer was recently arrested and charged with stealing hundreds of dollars from a grocery store located in Denton County. Employees at the store notified law enforcement that a man left the store with close to $830 in groceries without paying while wearing a Dallas law enforcement officer’s jacket. The law enforcement officer who was charged told the reporting officers that he had grown distraught when he thought his vehicle was stolen and went outside with his very full grocery cart. Law enforcement, however, smelled the strong smell of alcohol on the man’s breath. Law enforcement took away the officer’s badge and service weapon then transported the man to the Denton County Jail.
Shoplifting is the most common type of theft and frequently results in very serious penalties. A person convicted of shoplifting faces various penalties including fines, imprisonment, and being banned from the store where goods were stolen. Many people also find that a criminal record impacts the future of their career. Given the serious consequences associated with these penalties, this article will discuss some important pieces of advice that a person should follow if charged with shoplifting.
What is Shoplifting?
Law in the state of Texas defines shoplifting as a type of theft that involves the unlawful taking of property without the owner’s consent from a business. There are many different types of activities that can be found to constitute shoplifting, which includes accepting refunds from a store by claiming that an item was not placed in your bag, hiding merchandise and not intending to pay for it, leaving a store without paying for merchandise, or switching price tags.
Avoid Fleeing From Security
In many situations, law enforcement is not initially involved in shoplifting matters. Instead, a person will likely be confronted by the store’s security officers. While many people feel the temptation to flee from security because the person is not actually under arrest, doing so is not a wise idea. If a person is unlawfully detained, it is often a much better option to pursue matters in a court of law.
Do Not Offer an Explanation to Law Enforcement
Many people who interact with law enforcement concerning a shoplifting charge feel required to provide an explanation for their activity. Providing this information almost always weakens a person’s case. Instead, it is better to save this information for a court of law.
Make Sure to Attend Court Hearings
If a charge is a criminal in nature, a person should appear in a court of law because failure to do so can quickly result in a warrant being issued for that individual’s arrest.
Obtain the Services of a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
Shoplifting, whether it is treated as a felony or misdemeanor offense, can result in some particularly severe penalties. As a result, if you or a loved one is charged with shoplifting, it can prove to be particularly helpful to obtain the assistance of experienced legal counsel. Wheeler Law Office is available to help with your case. Contact our law office today for assistance.
(image courtesy of Clark Young)