Super Lawyers Rising Stars badge
Avvo Rating Badge
Avvo Clients Choice Award badge
National College for DUI Defense
Lead Counsel Rated badge
Top 40 under 40 badge
NACDL badge
PACDL badge

Retail Theft

Retail theft is a crime that Ohio law enforcement officers deal with every day. Basically, it involves taking something out of a store that you did not pay for. If you’ve been charged with this crime, you need an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney to assist you as you navigate the court system.

Retail theft happens for many reasons and across all socio-economic backgrounds. Some people do it “for fun.” They think it’s enjoyable to sneak things out of a store past the cashiers and security guards. Sometimes, people steal because they want something but don’t have the money for it, and many times, they shoplift because they are in need of it but again, don’t have enough money to buy it.

Whatever the reason for the theft, shoplifting is a very serious crime that has long-lasting effects on a person’s life. It leaves them with a criminal record that will exclude them from certain careers, housing options, and educational experiences. It also ruins their reputation, and the people around them will be hesitant to open themselves and their homes up to someone they know is a thief. Sometimes, a person with a retail theft charge on their record will even have difficulty keeping their children in their custody. Finally, the store from which they stole the goods will ban them from ever entering again, which may limit their ability to shop in person. The stigma society holds against a person convicted of theft is a deeply held, very serious one.

The Ohio Revised Code, in Chapter 29, Section 2913.02, defines retail theft and shoplifting as purposing to deprive the owner of a service or property and knowingly taking control of it, without his or her consent or that of someone authorized to give express or implied consent, and taking it by threat, deception, or intimidation.

The charges a person receives for a retail theft vary and depend on the value of the items taken.

For items that total less than $1,000, a person will be charged with first-degree misdemeanor petty theft. The penalties for that charge include fines of up to $1,000 and as many as six months in jail.

If the value of the items a person stole was over $1,000, the person will be charged with felony theft, which comes with fines of as much as $20,000 and as many as 11 years in jail. The penalties go up incrementally based on the items stolen and the offender’s previous crimes. Felony theft also comes with restitution requirements and the possibility of a civil lawsuit being filed against you by the victim.

As dire as the consequences are for a retail theft conviction, there are defenses that a well-trained and dedicated criminal defense attorney can use to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Depending on the circumstances of your retail theft, it could be argued that you did not steal the items. Or, maybe you didn’t intend to steal the item(s). It’s entirely possible that you forgot the item was in your possession when you got to the checkout. Did someone force you to steal the item? If so, it means you were under duress and were afraid for your health, safety, or life if you did not comply. Or, perhaps the property you are accused of stealing was something you already owned and paid for.

It’s important that you tell your attorney every detail of your shopping trip and your arrest. He will need to know the tiniest details so he can plan a defense strategy that will get you the best outcome possible. Even if you think something is not important, it might be the difference between a conviction and a dismissal, so share it with the lawyer.

Those who have been charged with retail theft need a competent and dedicated criminal defense attorney to stand beside them as they face their charges. Youngstown Criminal Law Group is dedicated to defending its clients with thorough research and aggressive defenses. Call them today at 330-531-8505. Someone will take your call 24/7. They can also be reached online.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mr. Logue came to me for my consultation, which was nice! He helped me better understand my situation so I could weigh my options. He kept me updated on any new information about my case, and I could always easily contact him if I had any questions. I knew I was in good hands, and I got the best possible outcome for my case! Anonymous
★★★★★
Sean Logue accomplished an incredible thing for me by handling my legal matters. If you need help, this is the man to represent you...he's very keen, knowledgeable, and efficient in guiding you to freedom. The trust and loyalty he gives you is very down to earth, so if you need a lawyer this is the best one. You can feel totally confident in Sean's hands. Excellent job, thank you for taking the time for me, you took all my worries away...God bless your future. Anonymous
★★★★★
Mr. Logue was the one I hired after talking to other attorneys about my case. He was the most knowledgeable and explained everything to me about his plan for me moving forward. He was always available to answer my questions and fought hard for me!! Don't waste your time looking for anyone else to help you. Mr Logue did an amazing job and very professional! Anonymous
★★★★★
Atty. Logue represented me well and took care of my legal issues superbly. He is a no-nonsense, very knowledgeable and well respected lawyer. I was pleased with his services. Would definitely recommend Atty. Logue to others. Anonymous
★★★★★
Mr. Logue is good for one reason, he cares. A client is not a quick buck. He always answers his phone, day or night and he understands the law better than anyone. He always answers my calls for both corporate and personal legal decisions and I have a ton of questions. His rates are reasonable too. Fair and firm. Anonymous