Joslyn Law Firm
212 Eighth St W #300
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Actions you should take if
you are accused of shoplifting
CINCINNATI, Ohio – You’re at a store walking up and down the aisles when you spot someone following you. They are trying to stay inconspicuous, but you are acutely aware of their presence watching every item you pick up and put back down.
Maybe you seem suspicious because you’re casually shopping and not putting anything in your cart. Maybe you’re looking to kill some time while waiting for an appointment and look like you aimlessly wandering the store. Or, maybe you aren’t well dressed and appear as if you can’t afford the items you put in your cart.
Whatever the circumstances, while theft
recovery personnel have the authority to watch you in the store, they have no right to accuse you of something you didn’t do.
“Retail theft can be a serious crime,” said Brian Joslyn
, founder and managing partner at Joslyn Law Firm
in Cincinnati. “Depending upon the value of the goods stolen, it can either be a misdemeanor or a felony charge. Retail theft is not taken lightly in Cincinnati.”
Because of this, you need to know what to do if an employee accuses you of stealing or a theft prevention officer asks you to accompany him to the store’s office. Joslyn shared these five tips:
- Remain composed. Freaking out doesn’t help your cause and it may even make you appear guiltier. Even if staff detains you until police arrive, wait calmly.
- Don’t plead your case to staff. No matter what the situation, you always have the right to stay quiet. You don’t owe staff an explanation, but know that if you do respond, they can use your information against you.
- Understand the store’s position. The store is trying to limit its losses. Many times management doesn’t want to prosecute and will accept payment as an alternative. Other times, they may let accused thieves off with a warning. With the help of legal representation, choose the best option for you.
- Be aware of the consequences. Retail theft can either be a misdemeanor or a felony; it just depends on the value of the item allegedly stolen. If under $1,000, it is a misdemeanor with the punishment up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Community service and probation may also be included. If the item is over $1,000 but under $7,500, it is a felony charge and comes with up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500 and possible probation.
- Call an attorney. Joslyn Law Firm offers a free consultation to those accused of a shoplifting charge.
The experienced criminal defense
team at Joslyn Law Firm
is ready to take clients step-by-step through the legal process, not just for retail theft, but also charges like traffic violations, juvenile charges, OVI/DUI offenses
, probation violations
and bench warrants
For details, call (513) 399-6289 or visit CriminalAttorneyCincinnati.com