If you have been accused of theft in the state of Maryland, it is likely that you will want to contest the accusation and adequately defend yourself. In order to do that, you should make sure that you understand the way that the law works when it comes to shoplifting and that you are aware of your rights in the situation.
Shoplifting is a specific type of theft, and typically the most common form of theft in the United States. In general, the crime of shoplifting is very specific, and by challenging some of the elements of the crime, it is possible to create an adequate defense.
What are the elements of the crime of shoplifting?
There are two key elements to the crime of shoplifting. The first involves the act of concealing or attempting to take possession of an item that is meant for commercial sale. The second is the fact that the person taking possession of the item has the clear intent of permanently depriving the shop in question of the item.
How can I defend myself against a shoplifting accusation?
Based on the basic elements of the crime of shoplifting, it is possible to create a defense by showing that one of the key elements of the crime was missing. For example, you may be able to show that you were not intending to permanently deprive the shop of the item, but that you accidentally left the shop with it and took action to return it as soon as you became aware.
What if a witness supports the store's accusation?
If witnesses present also believe that you were guilty of the crime of shoplifting, you may be able to successfully challenge their claims. Since intent is the key element of the crime of shoplifting, you could argue that the witnesses present couldn't have actually known your intent to return the item when you realized that it was accidentally taken.
If you have been falsely accused of shoplifting in the state of Maryland, it is important that you take action as soon as possible so that you can form a well thought out defense.