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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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I was given a citation for Theft under a $100.00 and have a

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I was given a citation for Theft under a $100.00 and have a court date scheduled. Nothing was stolen I started to shoplift but changed my mind before I left the store and never followed through with it. Still Walmart called the police and I was questioned given the ticket and released I never even attempted to leave the store with any merchandise. How can I be charged for theft when I technically did not steal anything Is thinking about uit a crime? Thank-you Mrs c

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Can you please tell me if you tried to hide or conceal any merchandise at any point while you were insider the walmart?

Do you have any prior criminal history?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have no record. I was in the dressing room and switched price on a pair of shoes came to my senses and left them in the dressing room I know it was a stupid thing to do but since I did not do more than that can I still be charged with theft not attempted theft or something like that
Dear XXXXXantha,

Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, the under the Maryland statute 3-1301 shoplifting is defined as following:

Shoplift" means any 1 or more of the following acts committed by a person without the consent of the merchant and with the purpose or intent of appropriating merchandise to that person's own use without payment, obtaining merchandise at less than its stated sales price, or otherwise depriving a merchant of all or any part of the value or use of merchandise:

(1) Removing any merchandise from its immediate place of display or from any other place on the premises of the mercantile establishment;

(2) Obtaining or attempting to obtain possession of any merchandise by charging that merchandise to another person without the authority of that person or by charging that merchandise to a fictitious person;

(3) Concealing any merchandise;

(4) Substituting, altering, removing, or disfiguring any label or price tag;

(5) Transferring any merchandise from a container in which that merchandise is displayed or packaged to any other container; or

(6) Disarming any alarm tag attached to any merchandise.

§ 3-1302.


So as long as, the store employee has observed you switching price tags or has a video of you switching price tags, you can be charged with shoplifting.


Unfortunately, this is a criminal misdemeanor charge which is defined as follows:

Theft of property valued at less than $100

Misdemeanor under §7–104(g)(3)

Jail time up to 90 days; a fine up to $500; a requirement to provide the property or its value to the owner



I would strtongly urge you to consult and retain a local criminal defense attorney and this local attorney might be able to get you into deferred prosecution program, since you are a first time offender, which would allow you to pay a fine and receive a probation and avoid having any criminal conviction history, once you complete your sentence.


I wish you the best of luck!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank-you for the information Of course its not the answer I was hoping for but at least I know the consequences. Again I thank-you
Dear XXXXXantha,

I wish you the best of luck and GOD bless you!
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