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Lawdoctor
Lawdoctor, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1400
Experience:  Practiced criminal law in several states over a 22 year period, from misdemeanors to Death Penalty.
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I have a friend that changed a ticket on a garmet to a lesser

Resolved Question:

I have a friend that changed a ticket on a garmet to a lesser priced one, bought the merchandise and then tried to return it to the store a day later as she changed her mind on it. The store made a copy of the reciept and said the article (a leather coat) was misticketed and they couldn't credit her charge card until they reviewed the store video to be sure the item had been paid for first and would call my friend back. She left with the coat.

If they saw her change the ticket on the coat on the video, will she face prosecution?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lawdoctor replied 7 years ago.
Dear Customer:

Thank you for allowing me to assist you with your question.

The short answer is yes, it is attempting to defraud a merchant, retail theft. Shoplifting is the common term.


In order for the Prosecutor to establish a solid case for Shoplifting, the following must be proved:

  1. The Shoplifter must have been seen approaching the merchandise;
  2. The Shoplifter must have selected the merchandise;
  3. The Shoplifter must have concealed, carried away, or converted the merchandise;
  4. The Shoplifter must have been in continuous observation by the merchant or witness;
  5. The Shoplifter must have failed to pay for the merchandise;
  6. The Shoplifter must have been approached by the merchant outside the store;

With Shoplifting, the specific intent of the person who committed the crime does not need to be proved. Mental illness, alcohol or drug-related issues, and medication cannot be used as a defense to a Shoplifting charge.

 

I hope that they decide not to prosecute, but most stores are pretty aggressive.

 

I wish you the best.

 

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.
If I don’t’ answer immediately, I may be offline. If so, I will answer as soon as I come back. If I am online, I may be assisting someone else and will respond as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.

 

Lawdoctor and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

 

I am not clear....if it does show on the video that the ticket was switched but she paid for the item and left the store already, how can they come back and arrest her?

Expert:  Lawdoctor replied 7 years ago.
It is theft because she changed the price on the item and presented it with fraudulent tags. If the item was marked 100.00 and she put a 25.00 tag on it, she stole 75.00 from the store.

They can arrest her because they have evidence of the crime. Just like any other crime, you can be arrested, charged and convicted up and until the Statute of limitations runs on the crime.

Most of these cases they never solve because they cannot identify the thief, in her case she was foolish enough to return the item and to do it so soon after she had done the deed. If she had waited a few weeks, they may not have had the video, or forgotten about it.

I wish I could give you better news, but retail theft and fraud is serious and merchants prosecute when ever they can to deter others. Walmart for example has a zero tolerance policy. They have even prosecuted a 6 year old who took gum and his father brought him back in to return it to teach him a lesson and the store had the kid prosecuted. That is extreme, but they have millions in losses every year.

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.
If I don’t’ answer immediately, I may be offline. If so, I will answer as soon as I come back. If I am online, I may be assisting someone else and will respond as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.