The act of taking products from an open retail establishment is referred to as “shoplifting.”
If a person illegally appropriates property with the goal to deprive the owner of the property, he commits a crime. In other words, stealing occurs when you take something that is not yours without permission and does not plan to return it. Shoplifting is defined as stealing from a retail store during ordinary business hours. So if you get caught shoplifting, what happens when you go to court for shoplifting?
Does Walmart report steal to the police?
Although anti-theft tactics and standards differ from store to store, Walmart often calls the police for shoplifting infractions. If you are detected stealing at a Walmart, a loss prevention worker may keep you until the police come.
Every Walmart store employs loss prevention agents who keep an eye out for shoplifters. They are on the floor and in the back, filming everyone. When a customer scans some things but leaves others in the basket and attempts to leave the store without paying for those items, loss prevention officials are on the lookout. Alternatively, a person may just go by the pay registers without pausing to scan any of their products! These shoplifters will be prosecuted by Walmart.
When law enforcement gets on the scene, you will generally be arrested. However, for lower-level crimes, the responding officer may just issue a ticket instead of arresting you.
Will Walmart drop the charges for shoplifting?
While it is conceivable that Walmart would reduce your shoplifting charges, you should not bank on it. Some Walmarts are infamous for aggressively prosecuting petty shoplifting offenses. However, via their county’s deferred adjudication and pretrial diversion programs, many first-time shoplifters may have their charges cleared or dropped.
The deferred adjudication program requires you to submit a guilty plea to the theft allegation, but the court does not issue a conviction. The court will withhold a judgment of guilt and sentence you to six months to a year on probation. You may be compelled to do community service as well as submit to drug and alcohol testing and assessment. You may avoid a theft conviction if you satisfy the probationary period criteria. You may also file a petition for non-disclosure, which will seal your charge’s record from everyone save the government and law enforcement.
Diversion of pretrial proceedings
You must apply for and be accepted into the pretrial diversion program by the district attorney. If the da agrees to pretrial diversion, you will sign a contract with a zero-tolerance stance for breaching the law. You may also be required to do community service as part of your contract.
If you successfully complete the pretrial diversion program, the theft charges against you will be dropped altogether. After two years, you may request that the charges be removed from your record. Some das will enable you to ask for the arrest to be expunged immediately. The charges will be fully removed from your criminal record.
Should I hire a lawyer since I was caught shoplifting?
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as quickly as feasible. A theft conviction might not only land you in prison, but it can also severely restrict your work alternatives and harm your future prospects. An expert shoplifting lawyer can assist you to comprehend your charges and how to defend them.