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Retail Theft Lawyer in St. Clairsville

Retail Theft Lawyer in Belmont

Retail theft is a prevalent crime that law enforcement officers in Ohio encounter regularly. It involves unlawfully taking merchandise from a store without paying for it. If you are facing charges related to retail theft, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced St. Clairsville criminal lawyer who can guide you through the legal process.

There are various reasons why retail theft occurs, spanning across different socio-economic backgrounds. Some individuals engage in this act for amusement, finding pleasure in sneaking items past cashiers and security guards. Others resort to theft due to financial constraints, either coveting something they cannot afford or fulfilling a genuine need without sufficient funds.

Regardless of the motivation behind the theft, shoplifting is a serious offense that has long-lasting consequences. It results in a criminal record that may hinder career opportunities, limit housing options, and impede educational pursuits. Moreover, it tarnishes an individual’s reputation, causing others to be wary of associating or trusting someone known to be a thief. In certain cases, individuals with a retail theft conviction may face challenges in retaining custody of their children. Additionally, they may be prohibited from entering the store from which they stole, impacting their ability to shop in person. Society holds a significant stigma against those convicted of theft, perceiving it as a grave transgression.

Under Chapter 29, Section 2913.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, retail theft and shoplifting are defined as intentionally depriving the owner of their property or service by knowingly acquiring control over it without consent, employing threats, deception, or intimidation.

The severity of the charges related to retail theft depends on the total value of the items stolen.

For items valued under $1,000, the offense is considered first-degree misdemeanor petty theft. Penalties for this charge may include fines up to $1,000 and a maximum of six months’ imprisonment.

If the value of the stolen items exceeds $1,000, individuals may face charges of felony theft. This offense carries substantial penalties, including fines of up to $20,000 and a potential prison sentence of up to 11 years. The severity of the penalties is determined by factors such as the value of the stolen items and the offender’s criminal history. In addition to the legal consequences, individuals may also be required to provide restitution and could face civil lawsuits from the victims.

While the consequences of a retail theft conviction are severe, it is important to note that there are defense strategies that a skilled and dedicated St. Clairsville OVI lawyers can potentially reduce or dismiss the charges. Depending on the specific circumstances of the retail theft, it may be possible to argue that the individual did not actually steal the items or did not intend to steal them. For example, it could be argued that the individual inadvertently left the item in their possession when they reached the checkout counter. Alternatively, if someone coerced the individual into stealing the item under duress, it can be argued that they acted out of fear for their health, safety, or life. Another possibility is that the item in question was already owned and paid for by the individual.

To effectively defend against retail theft charges, it is crucial to provide your attorney with every detail of your shopping trip and subsequent arrest. Even seemingly insignificant information can make a significant difference in building a strong defense strategy. Therefore, it is essential to share all relevant details with your lawyer.

If you are facing charges of retail theft, it is important to enlist the services of a competent and dedicated criminal defense attorney who can support and guide you through the legal process. St. Clairsville Criminal Law Group is committed to vigorously defending its clients through comprehensive research and aggressive defense strategies. Contact them today at (330) 992-3036 or visit their website to schedule a consultation. They are available 24/7 to assist you.

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