Massachusetts has a very detailed statute regarding shoplifting. Many people believe that an incident involving shoplifting occurs whenever someone conceals some merchandise and removes it from a place of business with the intention of not paying for those items. Generally, that is true but there are also some lesser-known property crimes which fit under the category of shoplifting according to Massachusetts laws.
A good example of this is altering a price tag or exchanging a price tag on an item to reflect a lower value. Another shoplifting activity is when a person engages in hiding or concealing merchandise within a place of business with the intention of depriving that business from the sale of those items. It's also important to know that a cashier or other store employees can also be charged with shoplifting for bringing up customers at reduced rates for merchandise. Perhaps the strangest form of shoplifting is in the taking of a shopping cart. Removing a shopping cart from a place of business without their consent is considered shoplifting throughout the Commonwealth.
If you are currently facing shoplifting charges there are a few things that you should know. Your Maryland criminal defense attorney can challenge the prosecution's case on two important grounds. 1) Whether you intended to conceal or process the merchandise in question. 2) Whether your intent at the time of the alleged incident was to deprive the business of the sale of those items.
Your attorney will likely challenge any witness who claims to have knowledge of the alleged shoplifting incident. This will include any individuals who may have actually been present and claim to have seen the shoplifting occur. Challenges can also be made against the accuracy or legitimacy of surveillance video evidence.
Finally, your attorney may also examine the facts of your case and determine that a settlement plea agreement may be in your best interest. In some circumstances, a prosecutor may be willing to reduce the penalties against you in exchange for your guilty plea. If successful, a plea negotiation can result in reduced fines or jail time.
Source: Find Law, "3 Ways to Challenge a Shoplifting Charge" Andrew Chow, accessed Mar. 12, 2015