Shoplifting may seem like a minor crime, but having a theft conviction on your record can lead to lifelong consequences. In many cases, a shoplifting charge results from overly-aggressive store security or from misunderstandings. Whatever the facts of your case are, I’ll help you fight back and protect your legal rights.
As an experienced New York City criminal defense attorney, I’ve defended hundreds of clients against shoplifting, theft, and other charges. My approach involves sitting down with my clients to truly listen to them so that I understand the facts of the case. I educate my clients on how the law applies to their case so that they can make the best decision about how to proceed. Together, we’ll come up with a plan for how to defend against these charges, which may include going to trial or negotiating a favorable deal. Whatever your goals are if you’ve been accused of shoplifting, I’ll stand by your side throughout the process to ensure that you get a fair shake and that your legal rights are protected.
Shoplifting Under New York Law
Shoplifting is a form of theft where a person steals merchandise from a store. It is charged with petty larceny if the value of the goods is less than $1,000. Scenarios where people get arrested for shoplifting, after demonstrating the intent to steal, include:
- Placing merchandise in a “booster bag” (a bag lined with aluminum foil, designed to conceal detection of merchandise from electronic security monitors)
- Removing anti-theft tags from store merchandise
- Concealing merchandise on the way out of the store with it
- Switching a price tag with one from less expensive merchandise
- Coordinating theft with a store employee who doesn’t ring up all the merchandise
- Group shoplifting where, for example, one member of the group creates a diversion that provides another member with the opportunity to steal
Petty larceny (also called petit larceny) covers a wide variety of crimes under New York law. It can be charged whenever a person steals goods or services from a business or person valued at under $1,000. Charged as a misdemeanor, these crimes are punishable by up to one year in jail.