Revised Statutes La RS 14:67 is the body of law in Louisiana that regulates the offense of shoplifting. It is the Theft statute for Louisiana.
This body of laws comprehensively covers the topic of shoplifting in Louisiana which includes Jefferson Parish, it stipulates the punishment for shoplifting and what shoplifting means.
Shoplifting is essentially when you take the good of someone or a legal entity with the intention that you would not return the goods and you did not pay for the goods, you carried the goods to deprive the owner the use of said property permanently without the permission of the owner or paying for the property. It can also be referred to as misappropriation or theft of goods. This is a crime that you can be punished severely for this crime.
Elements of the Crime of Shoplifting
For a crime to be successfully proved in the court of law certain things must be proved, these things can be referred to as elements or ingredients of the crime in question, shoplifting too has certain elements that must be proved in court by the person in charge of prosecuting the case we are going to discuss them below, they are:
- You wanted to take the property that belonged to another person or organization.
- You did not have the permission of the owner to take said property.
- You used pretense, lies, deception or fraud to effect your taking of the property that did not belong to you.
- You took the property from where it was kept and attempted to leave with it.
- You did all these knowingly and willingly.
Examples of Shoplifting
You went into a store saw a very fine item, you took that item and hid it in your bag then went ahead to walk out of the store with it.
You entered into Walmart, walked around and saw a wristband that you liked, you removed the tag from the wristband and tried to walk out of the store with it around your wrist while you had not paid for it.
You enter a clothing store, picked cloths that you found attractive and wanted to try them on, you went into the changing room and wore those shirts then wore your original shirt on them and started walking out of the store.
Some Possible Punishments for the Offense of Shoplifting
The crime of shoplifting carries punishments and penalties, they vary in degree depending on the circumstances that surround your particular case, these penalties include:
- First offense is a misdemeanor that carries up to 6 months in jail.
- Imprisonment which can be with hard labor or without hard labor. Imprisonment can be up to ten years.
- If you are convicted of shoplifting you can be ordered to pay up to $3000.
- You can be punished with both fine and jail time if you are found guilty of shoplifting.
- The owner of the store that you stole from can take legal action against you that can cost you money.
- You will have a Criminal record and this can reduce your quality of life.
Possible Legal Defenses for Shoplifting
Before a person is convicted of any crime they must go through the court process, while this is happening the defendant has the opportunity of defending himself, thus the availability of defenses or a defense attorney like those at Barkemeyer Law firm, so if you are accused of shoplifting in Gretna, Kenner or Metairie feel free to contact us. Some of the legal defenses available for shoplifting are:
- False accusation: you can make a defense that you did not shoplifting and you have been accused falsely.
- You lacked the mental capacity to form the intent to commit the crime you have been accused of.
- You paid for the goods you were accused of shoplifting.
To help you better understand what shoplifting means and the need for a defense attorney as soon as possible we are going to expound further on some of the aforementioned headings on shoplifting. We are going to discuss the following:
What it Means to Shoplift
Shoplifting is a crime according to the statutes in Louisiana. To shoplift means that you take property that belongs to someone (usually a merchant) and you intend that you would hold on to the goods in question or sell it but you did not pay the owner of the goods before you took. You know that the owner will be deprived of the use of their goods permanently and you did not ask the owner for permission to take the goods and you had no legal right to the goods.
Shoplifting can be referred to by other names like “theft of goods” “misappropriation of goods”. It is a crime and you can be punished for it.
Ingredients That Must be Proved in Shoplifting Cases
The ingredients that must be proved in a case of shoplifting are:
- You used Fraud or pretenses to deprive an owner of his goods.
- You had the intention to take the property.
- The goods did not belong to you.
- You did not have permission to take the goods, whether actual or implied.
- You physically took the property and left with it or you had taken substantial steps that it could safely be presumed that you wanted to leave with the property.
- Your faculties were intact when you did all of this or your faculties ought to have been intact if you had not taken substances or done acts that would restrict your thinking faculties.
Possible Penalties for Shoplifting
If you are found guilty of shoplifting you could be imprisoned or fined. The years of imprisonment can extend to up to ten years with hard labor and you can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $3,000 (three thousand dollars). Worse still, even after you have served your sentence the criminal record can be part of your records and substantially reduced your standard of living and opportunities in life.