There are many different products and possessions that people own in California. In order to have ownership of the property people either need to purchase them or be given to them as a gift. Once they have the property, they expect that they will be able to keep it until they sell it or get rid of it in some other manner. Sometimes people take other’s property without their permission. If people do this, it is considered a theft and people could face serious consequences as a result.
There are different theft crimes though. The type of theft people are charged with depends on a couple different factors. It depends on where people took the property, how they took the property and the value of the property that they took. People can be charged with theft, burglary or shoplifting depending on the circumstances. Theft and burglary have broader definitions that include broader types of thefts. However, shoplifting has a fairly specific definition.
Definition of shoplifting
People can be charged with shoplifting if they go into a commercial store while the store is open for business and both intend to take and in fact take items from the store without permission or without paying for them. The value of the property needs to be less than $950 though. If the value of the property is more than $950 or people enter the store when it is not open for business then it is considered burglary. If people are charged with shoplifting, they cannot be charged with any other type of theft.
Many people are charged with shoplifting in California. Shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor. The penalties for misdemeanors may not be as severe as other crimes, but shoplifting can have detrimental effects are other areas of people’s lives. Shoplifting will be on people’s criminal records and show up on background checks for jobs and rentals. People may be able to have the charges dismissed or the consequences minimized though. People are innocent until proven guilty and consulting with experienced attorneys can be beneficial.