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Make sure you pay for purchases this holiday

Now that the holiday season is starting, it is imperative that shoppers take the time to make sure that they are paying for the purchases they make. A shoplifting charge is something that could ruin your holidays.

You should realize that shoplifting encompasses more than just taking items from the store without paying for them. While that is one action that will almost certainly lead to criminal charges, there are a couple of others you should know about.

First, you can face criminal charges for trying to conceal merchandise while you are in the store. For example, if you slip a lipstick in your purse without thinking about it, that could be construed as trying to conceal the lipstick for the purpose of stealing it. Theoretically, you could face shoplifting charges for that even if you aren't trying to leave the shop.

Second, changing prices on items can lead to criminal charges. You can't take a price tag that is lower and place it on a higher priced item. This deprives the store from the intended profit, which is considered theft. Make sure you understand that even if all of the other like items have a discounted price, you can't just change the price on the item you get. Instead, you should bring the discrepancy to the store's attention and let the representatives determine what to do.

If you are facing criminal charges for shoplifting, the circumstances of the incident can have an impact on the possible defenses you are considering. You must think about the case against you when you are trying to figure out what strategy to use.

Source: FindLaw, "Shoplifting," accessed Nov. 03, 2017

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