Shoplifting in Stafford County or, what is referred to as concealment under Virginia law, is a type of theft.
The statute says is that if a person conceals or alters a price tag or removes a price tag from a vendor or shopkeeper, regardless of whether they leave the premises with that merchandise. There is a presumption that that person intended to permanently deprive the shopkeeper of that merchandise.
Shoplifting is taken seriously as a crime, which is why it is important to consult a Stafford County shoplifting lawyer. If you face shoplifting charges, contact an accomplished theft attorney who can start working on your case.
There are several primary differences between shoplifting and regular larceny. The first difference is the victim. In a shoplifting case, the victim is always a business or a shopkeeper. Shoplifting cannot be from someone’s house, it has to be from a business or a store.
The other thing that is unique is that in normal larceny cases, there must be an actual taking of the merchandise. It is enough in a shoplifting case that a person conceals the merchandise. For example, when a person goes to a store and hides an item in their purse, that can be considered shoplifting regardless of whether they leave the store with the item.
In addition, if a person removes a price tag from merchandise or alters a price tag these actions also constitute shoplifting regardless of whether the person ever takes the item out of the store.
The role of an attorney prior to and during the arraignment is to advise their client as to whether they should plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Each choice has significant consequences. It is critical for the person to understand whether they should plead not guilty or whether it makes more sense to enter into a plea agreement with the government.
It is always important to hire a Stafford County shoplifting lawyer with local experience because they have knowledge from by practicing locally that cannot be learned any other way. That includes knowledge about the local prosecutors and the local judges.
The local attorney knows the personalities involved in the cases, the tactics a prosecutor uses, and arguments that certain judges are receptive to. These are issues that can be the difference between success and failure in a case. There is no substitute for local experience.
It is important to contact a Stafford County shoplifting lawyer as soon as the person knows that they are under investigation or after being arrested. There are a number of ways that people can harm their cases unwittingly because they do not have the benefit of talking to an attorney.
There are many ways that people can miss out on doing proactive things to help their case because they have not been advised by a lawyer. A person should get the advice of a good attorney as early in the process as possible, as soon as the person knows they are being investigated, or subsequent to being released from an arrest.
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