Shoplifting is a criminal offense involving stealing of merchandise sold in stores. Committing shoplifting is concealing a product in a pocket or bag and getting out from the store not paying the merchandise.
Shoplifting is a kind of theft called larceny. The laws of larceny vary in every state. Some states will prosecute shoplifters as provided in the theft laws. Swapping price tags also constitute shoplifting. This crime needs a shoplifting lawyer to defend the culprit. However, the professional fees of a shoplifting lawyer are quite costly.
- Having a lawyer defend a guilty appeal and application of diversion program for shoplifting fines range from $1,000 to $3,000. This depends on the location and the amount of negotiation required.
- To hire a shoplifting lawyer, the client will pay an up-front payment also known as a retainer. This fee can be based on a flat rate or number of hours. A lawyer who is paid hourly deducts the amount computed hourly from the up-front payment every service provided. An additional amount is billed to the client when the retainer fee is exhausted.
- Legal fees for an appearance in court can range from $5,000-$10,000 which can also exceed based on the kind of charges including its complexity. Extra costs vary based on the lawyer’s reputation, experience, and location. Some lawyers agree on monthly payment terms.
- If the offender cannot afford the legal fees of a shoplifting lawyer, he or she can request the court to provide a lawyer who will represent the offender wherein the government pays for the legal costs.
Other things included in the offense
- The penalties and charges of shoplifting vary in every state. Items stolen below $200-$500 has a pettycharge. Goods taken with higher costs can bring a huge theft or larceny charge.
- Some places have programs for first-time offenders to perform community service instead of charging penalties to the offender.
- All the information the offender shared to the lawyer are confidential, but the lawyer cannot lie and give false defence when in court.
- If you opt to pay a flat rate to your lawyer, make sure you know what things are included and not included. Ask if there are additional costs if the case will be on trial.
- Fines and court fees vary depending on the location and charges which are added to the attorney’s fees.
- Many stores require the offender to pay the cost of the merchandise and the investigation cost.
The cost of hiring a lawyer for shoplifting cases is expensive and depends on many factors. To avoid these costs, one must not commit the crime.