If you or your child was charged with allegedly committing shoplifting as a minor, it is extremely important to retain the services of a skilled and respected Las Vegas defense attorney. Why? Because a conviction could haunt you or your child for years into the future and impact applying to college, pursuing certain career paths, purchasing a home, and so forth.
Overview of Shoplifting Law in Nevada
Under Nevada law, shoplifting occurs when someone “intentionally steals, takes or carries away” store property. The actual legal term for shoplifting is “larceny.” The seriousness of a larceny charge depends primarily on the value of the goods allegedly stolen.
If, for example, someone is arrested for shoplifting $650 or more worth of store property, then the individual could be charged with grand larceny, a felony offense. Conversely, if someone is arrested for shoplifting less than $650 worth of property, then they may be charged with petty larceny, a misdemeanor offense.
How Minors are Prosecuted for Criminal Offenses in Nevada
When a defendant charged with a crime is under the age of 18, that person is usually not dealt with in the traditional criminal justice system. Instead, they are prosecuted through the juvenile justice system, which has its own courts, judges, prosecutors, and rules. However, the crime of shoplifting is the same for juveniles as it is for adults. The only difference is how a juvenile court handles the criminal case.
Viable Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges
If your or your child are charged with shoplifting in Las Vegas, do not give up hope. There are an array of defenses an experienced Las Vegas criminal attorney may explore employing on your behalf when challenging a shoplifting charge. Here are examples of some potential defenses:
- You lacked the requisite intent to commit the shoplifting charge – The state must, prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you intended to permanently deprive the store of the goods. If you intended to return them, or you accidentally walked out forgetting to pay, then the charges could be challenged.
- The police charged the wrong person – Perhaps in the heat of the moment, the storeowner attributed the theft to you, when the offense was actually committed by another person. If your Las Vegas defense lawyer can raise a reasonable doubt that you were not the person who shoplifted the items at issue, then your charges could be dropped or dismissed.
- You actually owned the property that was allegedly shoplifted – It is possible that you already owned the items at issue and the store owner or employee mistook the items for their property. You may have already paid for the items and the store owner or employee forgot about the purchase. If your defense attorney can show that you already owned the items, then shoplifting charges are not viable.
Take Action – Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
Juvenile shoplifting is a serious criminal charge. Any shoplifting conviction could have a serious impact on the long-term future of the juvenile, as well as the juvenile’s family. Whether you have been charged with juvenile shoplifting or you are a parent or guardian of a juvenile who is facing these charges, take action by contacting LV Criminal Defense, 400 S. 7th St #401, Las Vegas, NV 89101, 702-623-6362. Our team of skilled and experienced attorneys stand ready to help.