Des Moines Shoplifting Lawyer
Experienced Defense For Shoplifting Charges in Iowa
If you have been accused of shoplifting, do not delay in seeking legal assistance. Being convicted of this crime can result in a variety of penalties, including jail time, fines, and restitution. You may also have to deal with a tarnished reputation and a damaged employment history. No matter how serious the situation appears, you do not have to face these charges alone. At Clark & Sears Law, our Des Moines shoplifting attorneys understand the seriousness of these charges, and we will work tirelessly to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Call Clark & Sears Law today at (515) 200-2787 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our Des Moines shoplifting lawyer.
What is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting is a criminal offense involving the unauthorized taking of merchandise or property from a retail establishment to permanently deprive the owner of their goods without paying for them. This crime can take various forms, such as concealing items, switching price tags, or simply walking out of a store with unpaid merchandise. Shoplifting may also be referred to as retail theft, theft by deception, or petty theft, depending on the circumstances of the case.
What are the Penalties for Shoplifting in Iowa?
The penalties for shoplifting in Iowa can differ depending on the value of the stolen merchandise and other factors involved in the case. Common penalties for shoplifting offenses in Iowa include:
- Misdemeanor Shoplifting: For merchandise valued at less than $200, a first offense may result in a simple misdemeanor charge, which carries penalties of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $625.
- Serious Misdemeanor Shoplifting: If the value of the stolen items is between $200 and $500, a second or subsequent offense, or if the shoplifter has prior theft-related convictions, the charge may be upgraded to a serious misdemeanor. This offense can result in up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000.
- Felony Shoplifting: Shoplifting merchandise valued at over $500 can lead to felony charges, which carry more severe consequences. Felony shoplifting convictions can result in imprisonment and substantial fines.
Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges
Our Des Moines shoplifting attorneys at Clark & Sears Law can employ various defense strategies, including:
- Lack of Intent: If it can be demonstrated that you did not have the intent to permanently deprive the store of the merchandise or that it was a simple mistake, this can be a valid defense.
- Mistaken Identity: In some cases, shoplifting charges may result from mistaken identity. We can investigate the circumstances and present evidence that you were not the individual involved in the alleged shoplifting.
- Illegal Search and Seizure: If your rights were violated during the search or arrest, evidence against you may be suppressed.
- Duress: If you were compelled to shoplift under threat or coercion, this could be a valid defense.
- Procedural Errors: We can thoroughly review the entire case to identify any procedural errors or inconsistencies that can be used to your advantage.
Facing shoplifting charges in Iowa can be a daunting experience, but you don't have to navigate it alone. At Clark & Sears Law, our Des Moines shoplifting lawyers are ready to deliver you with the aggressive and effective representation you need to protect your rights and future. We will carefully review your case, explain your legal options, and work tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome for you. Your future is worth fighting for, and we are here to help you every step of the way.
Contact Clark & Sears Law today to get started with our Des Moines shoplifting lawyer.