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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27749
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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If you get caught for shoplifting but you never went outside

Customer Question

if you get caught for shoplifting but you never went outside the store in fact you was on you way to put back the thing you put in your pocket. can you get out of the whole thing since you never set off the alarm and you never went outside?
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: nc
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.


I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

You don't have to be outside of the store in order to get charged with shoplifting. But to convict you, the state would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to leave the store without paying for the items.

What you did intend would be a question of fact for the jury to determine after all the evidence is in, if you wanted to go to trial on the case. To the extent that a jury or judge would believe that you were looking to put the items back, you could not be convicted of the crime.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
ok the thing that was taken then put back was only 23 bucks.could you not just buy the thing insteand going though all this?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Not usually. You can offer to pay for the item, but typically, they will tell you it's too late.

Many major store chains, particularly Walmart, pay a fortune in insurance due to shoplifters. Some of them tend to be pretty unforgiving, even with a $23 theft. I've seen Walmart have a shoplifter arrested for a lot less than that.