Shoplifting is an act of larceny that involves taking property belonging to someone else without their permission and with the intent to permanently deprive them of their property. The punishment for shoplifting depends on the value of the items stolen. The higher the value of the stolen items or property, the greater the severity of punishment. You would face a much harsher penalty for shoplifting explosives or firearms than you would for shoplifting a few items of clothing. In general, shoplifting involves a) willfully taking or concealing items being offered for sale, and 2) the intent to deprive the owner of possession of the items without paying for them.
If you’re accused of shoplifting in Colorado, you need to get an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney with experience in shoplifting cases to help you defend yourself and present your side of the story. You can be accused of shoplifting by simply concealing the items without attempting to take them out of the store. While it must be proven that you intended to take them from the store in order to be convicted, in many states simply concealing stolen items is enough evidence of intent.
Shoplifting in Colorado is either a misdemeanor or a felony depending the value of what you’ve taken. It is a Class 2 misdemeanor if the value of the stolen property is less than $500; a Class 1 misdemeanor if the stolen property is worth $500 to $1,000; a Class 4 felony if the stolen property is valued at $1,000 to $20,000; and a Class 3 felony if the stolen property is valued at more than $20,000.
A one-time impulsive act of shoplifting may result in a lighter sentence than a recurrent pattern of shoplifting. Having a Colorado criminal defense attorney in your corner may prevent you from suffering harsher consequences for your action than necessary. Your criminal defense attorney can explain the shoplifting laws and your rights under those laws, as well as ensure your rights are protected and you are treated fairly throughout the entire legal proceeding.