You have never intentionally stolen anything in your life, yet now you face theft charges for shoplifting. How did this happen, and what can you do about it?
Accidental shoplifting is more common and easy to perpetrate than you may think, and you are not alone in this. Here are some things you should know.
Examples of accidental shoplifting
In the hustle and bustle of our distracted modern world, there are many ways to unintentionally leave a store without paying for items. Here are a few examples of accidental shoplifting.
- You use a self-checkout and forget to scan an item on the bottom of the cart or underneath a purse or bag
- You are unaware that two or more items are stuck together, and you only scan one of them at the self-checkout
- You get distracted and walk out of the store with an unpaid item in your hand
- Your child sneaks a toy into their pocket or coat without your knowledge, and you leave the store with it
You may have a right to defense
Theft charges are scary, but you have a right to defend against them. To convict you of theft charges, the court must prove that your intention was to steal from the store. However, intentionality is notoriously difficult to deduce. Store security footage and eyewitness accounts may help prove that your actions were unintentional.
Accidental theft can happen to anyone. If you are facing theft charges for accidental shoplifting, do not neglect your right to defend yourself.