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Shoplifting in the United States

Throughout the United States, there are dozens of mental conditions that could lead a person to face criminal charges. Kleptomania is the inability to resist the urge to steal items. Often these items are small and relatively minor in value. It is considered a serious mental condition that affects thousands of Americans each year.

The act of stealing from a store is called shoplifting, and it can lead to various penalties depending upon the circumstances, ranging from a low-level infraction to perhaps a misdemeanor all the way up to a felony charge. Another area that can get complicated involves whether a store can detain someone accused of shoplifting. From a legal perspective, private citizens do not have the right to hold anyone against their will; that is called false imprisonment. However, the courts can make exceptions if a store’s employees have evidence that a customer committed shoplifting.

A mere suspicion will not suffice though, there needs to be some element of proof for the detention to hold up in court. This can be a very subjective area, and could lead to any number outcomes for a Rochester person suspected of shoplifting.

Regardless of the severity of one’s alleged crime, having a criminal record may follow one for years or longer, affecting many aspects of a person’s life. When facing such charges, it may be in a person’s best interest to find a strong criminal defense team to help them though the process. Having a reputable and experienced criminal defense team at one’s side could be helpful in helping fight the charges.

Source: FindLaw, “Shoplifting,” accessed on July 17, 2017

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James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

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Adam Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

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