Shoplifting and Unlawful Concealment
Shoplifting and unlawful concealment are criminal charges that can have serious consequences in North Carolina. If you have been accused of either offense, it is important to understand the law and seek the guidance of a criminal defense lawyer.North Carolina Law on Shoplifting and Unlawful Concealment
In North Carolina, shoplifting is generally defined as the theft of goods or merchandise from a retail establishment. This can include concealing items in a bag, purse, or other container with the intention of depriving the store of the merchandise without paying for it. Shoplifting can also occur if someone alters price tags or packaging in an attempt to pay less than the actual value of the item.
Unlawful concealment is a related offense, but it does not require the individual to leave the store without paying for the merchandise. Instead, unlawful concealment occurs when someone willfully conceals goods or merchandise while still on the premises of the store.
Both shoplifting and unlawful concealment are classified as misdemeanors in North Carolina, and the specific penalties will depend on the value of the stolen or concealed merchandise. For goods valued at less than $1,000, the offense is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 days in jail and a $200 fine. For goods valued at $1,000 or more, the offense is a Class H felony, which can result in up to 39 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.Similarities and Differences Between Shoplifting and Unlawful Concealment
Shoplifting and unlawful concealment are similar in that they both involve taking merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it. However, there are some key differences between the two charges.
The primary difference between shoplifting and unlawful concealment is that shoplifting requires the accused to have left the store with the merchandise, while unlawful concealment only requires the merchandise to have been concealed while still on the premises. Additionally, shoplifting generally involves the removal of merchandise from its packaging, while unlawful concealment can occur even if the merchandise remains in its original packaging.Why You Should Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been accused of shoplifting or unlawful concealment in North Carolina, it is important to seek the guidance of a criminal defense lawyer. Even though these offenses are generally classified as misdemeanors, they can have serious consequences that can impact your life for years to come.
A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and develop a strong defense strategy. They may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor, which could result in reduced charges or a lesser sentence. If your case goes to trial, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can argue on your behalf and fight to protect your rights.
In addition to helping you navigate the legal system, a criminal defense lawyer can also provide emotional support and guidance during what is likely a stressful and difficult time. They can help you understand the potential consequences of a conviction, including the impact on your employment, housing, and reputation.Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina
If you have been accused of shoplifting or unlawful concealment in Charlotte or the surrounding areas, contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you understand your legal rights and develop a defense strategy that is tailored to your unique situation.
At our firm, we have extensive experience defending clients against theft charges, and we are committed to providing aggressive and compassionate representation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.