The act of taking an item in a concealed manner and leaving without paying is called shoplifting. Although it is a larceny, it is considered a theft of someone else's property. Although taking something from a store is considered as shoplifting, there are some other cases that may also lead to shoplifting charges. Any scenario in which you take off with something without paying will be considered shoplifting under the law.
The charges and sentencing for shoplifting usually vary depending upon the type of offense committed. For example, if the stolen goods are of more value, the sentencing could be severe. Furthermore, dangerous items like weapons being stolen is a serious issue which is why the charges are always more severe. The prosecution has the right to decide what charge they want to press against the defendant. There are several factors that the prosecutor analyzes before coming up with any formal charges. They may have a look at the defendant's prior record to see whether there is a history of shoplifting. Defendants without any serious history of shoplifting might get off easier than one's who have a history.
The law gives shop owners the right to detain suspects of shoplifting in their stores until the law enforcement officers arrive at the scene. Having probable cause is enough for them to force the suspect to stay. However, deciding what can be classified as probable cause is complicated and leads to arguments.
If you have been charged with shoplifting, you should consider contacting an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will have a look at the evidence and your previous record before coming up with coming up with a strong defense strategy.