Is there any chance that I could fight retail theft based on these circumstances? 13 Answers as of April 23, 2013

I was shopping at a Family Dollar store and had my hands full so I placed three small chocolate eggs in my front hoodie pocket. When I got to the cash register I forgot that they were there and the cashier rung up the items I was purchasing. As she was ringing up my items she asked me about the eggs in my pocket and I told her I forgot they were there, took them out, and told her I wanted to pay for them and she said , "No, I'm calling the police." I didn't leave the register or even finish paying for my order but was charged with retail theft.

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You can fight it IF you either are a prelaw student, or have the money to retain the right attorney.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/23/2013
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
Not likely to win, but with a lawyer they may toss the charges in advance for a deferred sentence.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 4/22/2013
LeadfootSpeedingTicket.com
LeadfootSpeedingTicket.com | Andrea Storey Rogers
If you don't fight it, you will be convicted of shoplifting, which is a misdemeanor, and the conviction will stay on your criminal record forever. It can never be expunged (removed) from your criminal record. If you hire an attorney to represent you, the attorney can very likely negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to have the charge reduced to a lesser offense and keep you from having a conviction for shoplifting on your permanent record. Depending on which court this is in, you may be able to plead guilty to "Littering" and pay a fine and court costs, but you probably won't have to appear in court.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 4/19/2013
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
It would not hurt for you to fight the charges. If you had not exited the store, or passed the last point of purchase, you cannot be charged with retail theft. You admitted you had the eggs and offered to pay for them, at the point of purchase, the cash register, so you have a good chance of beating the case.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/18/2013
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
You had no intent to steel so you can fight these charges. You will need to retain criminal defense counsel to do so. It is unlikely you will be successful fighting this on your own.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/18/2013
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Yes that is a defense. They have to prove that you intended to steal the stuff. It sounds like simple forgetfulness to me. Get a lawyer to help you and fight the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/18/2013
    William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
    An attorney can assist you with evaluating the prosecution's case, any defenses that you might have, and any plea offer that might be made, so that you can decide whether to plea bargain or go to trial. If you were to be found guilty, then an attorney can assist you with presenting mitigation, allocution, and a recommendation for a more lenient sentence. and a recommendation for a more lenient sentence.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 4/18/2013
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Based upon your facts as you have stated, the fact that you were at the register, had not completed your transaction, and had not yet left the store without paying, would support the argument that no crime had been committed. If the facts are as you say they are, I find it surprising that you were charged.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/18/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Yes, the facts you relate could surely be used to fight the charge. The state is obligated to prove that you "intended" to take the items without paying for them. Your facts would cast doubt on your having the requisite intent.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/18/2013
    Law Office of John G. Galasso | John George Galasso
    In order to be found guilty of the theft, you usually have to proceed past the point of the register without failing to pay to be charged; You made an honest mistake and any prosecutor should realize that;
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/18/2013
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Yes you can fight and win. It will be up to the Judge. Please call if we can help and tx bl.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/18/2013
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