Shoplifting is a common problem, despite stores employing security measures to prevent it. In fact, the problem has gotten so serious that store security can sometimes be too aggressive about simple mistakes. People can find themselves facing theft charges through an unwitting error.
If you are charged with shoplifting, it’s critical to fight back. Below are three possible consequences you may encounter due to shoplifting.
1. Fines and jail terms
Shoplifting is stealing, which means offenders may be subject to theft penalties. Accordingly, you may end up paying fines or spending days, if not months, in jail, especially if you have a history of shoplifting.
Shoplifting can be a misdemeanor (petty theft) or a felony, depending on the circumstances. For instance, a case involving merchandise worth a high value is a felony and may be punished as so.
2. Lost job opportunities
A shoplifting charge on your record can make you miss out on certain job opportunities. Even though you may have paid your dues, some employers may find it challenging to give you a chance.
Further, you may lose your current job if you are charged with shoplifting, particularly if your employer can establish the offense violates the employment agreement or if you have to go to jail as one of your punishments.
3. Damaged personal relationships
Unfortunately, a shoplifting charge can affect your relationships. Someone may distrust you or can get angry at you. It may take time for your loved ones to trust you or understand the situation.
What should you do?
If you are accused of shoplifting, you should consider your legal options to defend yourself. You can argue you didn’t have the intent to steal or can prove your innocence. It can help to get legal guidance when facing a shoplifting charge to protect your record and reputation.