Island Law Office is your dedicated partner in navigating legal challenges. If you face these charges, you need a Gering shoplifting attorney who can protect your rights and provide skilled guidance throughout the legal process. We understand that the consequences of a shoplifting conviction can be life-altering, and we are here to ensure that you receive a fair defense.
Call Island Law Office today at (308) 633-4040 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our shoplifting attorney in Gering.
What is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting is considered the act of stealing merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it. It is considered a property crime and is treated seriously under Nebraska law. Shoplifting can take various forms, including:
- Concealment: When a person hides an item intending to take it without paying.
- Alteration of Labels or Packaging: Changing the price tags, labels, or packaging to pay a lower price.
- Switching Containers: Placing merchandise into a different container to deceive the cashier.
- Walking Out Without Paying: Leaving a store with unpaid merchandise, whether concealed or not.
Shoplifting is considered a crime of intent, meaning that the prosecution must prove that the individual intended to steal the merchandise. It is essential to remember that even if you did not leave the store with the stolen items, you can still be charged with shoplifting if intent can be established.
What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting in Nebraska?
The penalties for shoplifting in Nebraska vary depending on the particular value of the stolen merchandise and the circumstances surrounding the incident. Here's an overview of the potential consequences you may face:
- Class I Misdemeanor: Shoplifting items valued at less than $500 is typically considered a Class I misdemeanor. Penalties may include up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
- Class IV Felony: Shoplifting items valued at $1,500 or more can lead to a Class IV felony charge. The potential consequences for a Class IV felony may involve incarceration for up to two years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Civil Penalties: In addition to criminal penalties, shoplifters may also be subject to civil penalties, such as restitution to the store for the stolen merchandise and a civil fine.
- Juvenile Offenders: Shoplifting charges can also apply to juveniles, and the consequences for underage offenders may include fines, community service, or mandatory counseling programs.
Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges
Some common defenses against shoplifting charges may include:
- Lack of Intent: One of the primary elements the prosecution must prove is that you had the intent to steal the merchandise. If we can demonstrate that there was no intent, it may lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges.
- Mistaken Identity: In some cases, individuals are wrongfully accused of shoplifting due to mistaken identity. We can present evidence to prove that you were not the person who committed the alleged crime.
- False Accusations: False accusations, often arising from misunderstandings or disputes with store personnel, can lead to wrongful shoplifting charges. We can investigate the circumstances and gather evidence to refute the accusations.
- Unlawful Search and Seizure: If your rights were violated during the arrest or search process, we can challenge the admissibility of evidence in court, potentially leading to a dismissal of charges.
- Inadequate Evidence: We will closely scrutinize the evidence against you, ensuring that the prosecution's case is thoroughly examined for weaknesses and inconsistencies.
Contact Our Gering Shoplifting Attorney Today
Island Law Office is committed to providing exceptional legal representation to individuals facing shoplifting charges. Our Gering shoplifting lawyers are here to protect your rights and offer the skilled guidance you need during this challenging time. With us by your side, you can rest assured that you have a trusted advocate who will work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for your shoplifting case. Don't delay; contact us now, and let us help you navigate the legal process.
Contact Island Law Office today to get started with our Gering shoplifting lawyer.