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Theft is one of the most common types of crimes committed not only in Houston but the entire state of Texas. One type of theft is shoplifting, which occurs when a person enters a retailer with the intent of taking an item without paying for it. Shoplifting also occurs when a person pays for an item with counterfeit money or a bad check, steals purses or wallets from a customer in a store, or knowingly buys stolen merchandise.
A shoplifting lawyer in Houston can help you defend your case in front of a judge. The lawyer can also help you negotiate a plea to a lesser charge with the prosecutor. All of this depends on the amount of money the items you stole were valued at by the retailer. Your case might not even reach court if the retailer simply asks you to return the product, pay for it, and they will then ban you from the store for life.
There are a handful of different defenses used by shoplifting lawyers in Houston to help their clients fight the charges levied against them. One such defense is the argument that the defendant thought the item belonged to them or that it did actually belong to them. For example, the person could have walked into the store with a bag from another store and the retailer mistook it for shoplifting. A receipt will be required to win the case using this defense.
Returning property can also be used as a defense to a shoplifting charge. It might not help you avoid a charge or have it dropped but it will help to paint you in a positive light. When this is the case, you might be able to negotiate a lesser plea deal with the prosecutor. It’s not uncommon for the defendant to argue that the property was only being borrowed and would’ve been returned in due time.
Another common type of defense to shoplifting is known as entrapment. This occurs when the subject claims he or she was set up to commit the crime of shoplifting specifically to prosecute them. This occurs when the idea to commit shoplifting came from the person trying to entrap the other person.
Contact an experienced Houston shoplifting lawyer today to build a defense for your case.