How to Fight False Allegations of Shoplifting

Shoplifting is a serious criminal offense in the state of Nevada, and one that can subject defendants to serious penalties, including hefty fines and fees, possible terms of imprisonment, probation, and criminal records. As defined by Nevada Law (Section 205.220 / 205.240 of the Nevada Revised Statutes), shoplifting, also known as larceny, occurs when an individual intentionally takes, carries away, or steals property of another.

Depending on the circumstances, shoplifting can result in misdemeanor charges, particularly if the value of property is under $650. However, there are situations where shoplifting can result in felony allegations, such as when property is valued at more than $650, or an induvial has prior convictions. Because both charges pose serious consequences and penalties, the need for experienced defense is critical – especially if the allegations made against you are false.

At Joey Gilbert Law, our Reno criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience defending clients charged with a range of misdemeanor and felony theft-related crimes, including shoplifting, retail theft, and grand larceny. Because we know that business owners, loss prevention specialists, and security guards are often overzealous in protecting their products and businesses – especially during the holiday season when shoplifting increases – we know that not all charges are levied in accordance to the facts at hand. Some are the result of false accusations, including:

  • Mistaken identity – With busy stores and lots of shoppers, especially during the holidays, it can be difficult for security guards and other retail store employees or owners to accurately discern who is committing an offense. In their zealousness to stamp out theft, these individuals may falsely accuse a shopper of stealing even when they did not – often as a result of mistaken identity. By raising effective arguments, and presenting evidence, challenges to identity can be raised. If an arrest was made due to mistaken identity and you are able to prove it as such, the charges against you should be dropped.
  • You owned the property – Many shoppers, including those making their rounds in busy shopping centers or malls during the holidays, carry other products or good around with them. In some cases, employees or security guards may mistake your property for property of the store’s, and may apprehend you in relation to theft. Should this be the case, you need to prove that you owned the property in question so as to avoid charges and penalties.
  • You did not intend to steal – Again, overzealousness can result in false shoplifting allegations in numerous ways; including situations where employees or guards may believe you intended to steal a product, when in fact you did not. Shoplifting is an intent-based crime, and you can argue intent effectively when you prove that it was not your goal to deprive a store of their property. This may happen when you purchase goods but forget to put another item on the checkout counter, or walk out of the store without knowing that you had a product.

If you or someone you love are facing false shoplifting allegations, especially during the holidays, remember that you have the opportunity to defend yourself against them – and to have the assistance of proven lawyers like those at Joey Gilbert Law when doing so. To discuss a potential case and learn how our firm can help you, contact us for a free consultation.


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