Getting caught shoplifting can potentially lead to jail time. Every case is different, especially in the world of shoplifting. Different factors in a shoplifting case include the time you were caught, the value of the items, and any other past crimes that you are on your record. Along with these details in the case, technology could have a big impact. This is why consulting with and hiring a criminal law attorney is essential for breaking your case down and getting the best defense possible. Browse through five different ways that technology can impact a shoplifting charge and see how they can possibly help your case.
Digital Video Surveillance
The world of digital surveillance has greatly changed as VHS tapes and DVDs got replaced by hard drives that could hold months and years of footage. The quality of the footage has also improved, making it easier to spot shoplifting cases. One of the biggest keys in your case is the statue of limitations on the theft crimes. As loss prevention specialists browse through hours of footage, they may come across your theft and try to charge you with the crime. A criminal law attorney can look into these limitations and see if they are even valid for your case.
Every state has different limitations and they can vary based on the value of the theft. Your criminal law attorney will investigate the statues, past cases, and various ways this can impact your case. If the footage is not seen soon enough, your entire case could be thrown out.
Facial Recognition Software
Newer technology gives stores the ability to run automatic scans through surveillance footage using facial recognition software. Once you have been charged with a crime, the software may be run to look for your face and see if you have shoplifted any other times. If more footage is found, this can become a key part of your case.
Your defense attorney can get this footage and examine the accuracy of the facial recognition. For example, someone that looks similar to you may have shopped at the store and come up in the software. Your lawyer can challenge the evidence and try to get it thrown out against your case.
If video footage technology is used as evidence against you, then that same evidence can be used to increase your charges and possibly transition from a misdemeanor to a felony. Your criminal lawyer will try to keep the charges are low as possible. By trying to lessen the charges, you may be able to avoid jail time. If the charges are increased to a felony, you may be at risk for jail time. If these prior crimes are a large factor in your case, you may need to consider plea deals to avoid possible jail times or felony charges.
In some cases, the digital technology may work in favor for your case. For example, if you are caught in the act, but didn't actually leave the store because they suspected you in through security monitors, then you will likely get charged with petit theft or petty theft. This intention of theft may be harder to prove than if you actually left the store. By working with a defense attorney, there may be explanations to the reason that you concealed items in bags or jackets. By not leaving the store, it may be easier to prove that you didn't steal anything.
If you were in a store with someone else that committed a shoplifting crime, you may be charged as an accomplice. By using digital surveillance, video footage can showcase your actions while the shoplifting occurred. For example, if you weren't physically looking while a person grabbed the item, then your defense lawyer can help you get the charges dismissed. The video footage can also help showcase different sections of the store you were in while the shoplifting was occurring. If the video is being used in the case, then your lawyer can have access to all the footage as well.
Technology evidence may seem to go against you in shoplifting cases, but many lawyers know how to use the same footage in your favor. Consult with law firms like O'Brien & Dekker to learn more about your options.Share
18 January 2016
My name is Noni. When I was in college, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. My life was never in danger, but I did break a few bones and had a lot of huge medical bills. I was hoping I wouldn't have to get involved with an attorney, but unfortunately, it came down to that. I used a family friend who is an accident attorney to get some compensation. A few years later, I was hit while riding my bike and had to go through the same process. I suppose I'm lucky to be alive. And it's thanks to accident attorneys that I have been able to put my life back together. I started this blog as a way to let others know just how much lawyers can help you in certain situations.