Shoplifting means someone enters a shop pretending to be a customer but steals something instead of buying. The intention was of stealing rather than buying. Sometimes it is just because of momentary temptation and sometimes habitual. But the consequences of both the cases are same; embarrassment, heavy fines, imprisonment, difficulty in finding job, loan or admission in educational institute. People use a lot of different ways for shoplifting. Some hide the products under clothes, some in bags and some in baby cots. It is not only confined to customers but employees can also be involved in shoplifting. While reconciling stock, the owner may find discrepancy between available stock and the stock in books. One needs to keep a close eye on employees so that they do not get a chance to do such an activity. Not only stealing an item is included in shoplifting. But, removing the price tag of an item or trying to change its price or eating an edible item without paying for it are also included.
Now days, security cameras have been installed in almost all the shops and malls. In big stores, a security room is established where the security staff monitors the activities in the store. Similarly, sensors are attached to expensive items like clothes these days so that if a person has stolen the clothes, they can be detected through these sensors. They will set an alarm when taken out of the shop with the clothes. Most common way of stealing clothes is to wear them beneath your dress and walk out of the store without paying. The jail time for shoplifting and fine depends upon the specific situation. When you go to take help from a lawyer, he can assess your situation from different factors like if any weapon was involved in the process or not, similarly the amount of item you stole matters a lot. If the value of the stolen item was very heavy, heavy fine and imprisonment will be imposed as compared to the situation in which a petty item was stolen. This matter also depends on the prosecutor’s claim. If the victim demands a heavy punishment, you will have to put more efforts to get out of the situation.
In some situations, like when the age of the shoplifter is small, certain programs are offered; the shoplifter is asked to attend a class where he will be taught about the consequences of shoplifting and how it can be avoided in future avoiding further problems. Similarly, people are asked for community service in exchange of the heavy fines and other penalties like jail time.
Jail time for shoplifting also depends on your previous criminal record. If you have committed petty crimes in past like purse snatching or trespassing, your case will be filed according to different penal code. While, if you have committed some serious crime life rape, sex offending or car accident, your case will be filed under different penal code and you may face more jail time.