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Shoplifting Charges in Missouri

Michael J Englert, Attorney at Law Aug. 29, 2022

Thief’s hands putting a book in a bag.In Missouri, it is an offense to steal or take merchandise from a store without paying for the item. A person arrested and charged with shoplifting could face devastating penalties, including massive fines, lengthy incarceration, a criminal record, and other social ramifications. An experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney can inform you about the potential penalties and consequences of a shoplifting charge and help strategize your best defenses.  

Attorney Michael Englert provides dependable representation and comprehensive legal guidance to individuals facing theft charges, including retail theft or shoplifting. He has the resources necessary to investigate the facts of your case, refute the allegations against you with substantial evidence, and attempt to keep your record clean. The firm is proud to serve clients across Independence, Lee's Summit, and Blue Springs, Missouri. 

Shoplifting Charges Under Missouri Law 

Shoplifting can be described as the criminal action of stealing goods or merchandise from a store – while pretending to be a customer – without paying for the item. However, in the state of Missouri, shoplifting is categorized and charged with other stealing-related offenses. 

According to Missouri laws – Missouri Revised Statutes Section 570.030 – a person commits the offense of stealing if they: 

  • Appropriates another person's property or services without consent or through deceit or coercion, with the intent to deprive the owner. 

  • Attempts to appropriate anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen of another without consent or through deceit or coercion, with intent to deprive the owner. 

  • Receives, retains, or disposes another person's property while knowing that such item was stolen, with the purpose of depriving the owner of a lawful interest. 

Unfortunately, the burden of a stealing or shoplifting accusation can be overwhelming and can jeopardize your reputation, quality of life, and future. A reliable criminal defense attorney can inform you about the nature of your charges and help build your defense. 

Classification of Charges  

Additionally, stealing offenses are classified according to the monetary value and type of the property or services that were stolen or involved in the crime. These include: 

Class A Felony: Stealing will be charged as a class A felony if the stolen property consists of: 

  • Any amount of anhydrous ammonia 

  • A tank truck, tank trailer, or rail tank car 

  • Bulk storage tank 

  • Field nurse, field tank, or field applicator. 

Class B Felony: Stealing will be charged as a class B felony if the stolen property consists of: 

  • Any amount of anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen. 

  • Livestock animals of over $3,000 (second offense) 

  • A motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft (third offense) 

  • Livestock animals of over $10,000 

Class C Felony: Stealing will be charged as class C Felony if the value of the stolen property is $25,000 or more. 

Class D Felony: Stealing will be charged as a class D felony if: 

  • The value of the property or services stolen is $750 or more. 

  • The property stolen consists of a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, will, credit or debit device, firearms, ammonium nitrate, or explosive weapon. 

Class E felony: The offense of stealing will be charged as a class E felony if: 

  • The property appropriated is an animal. 

  • The defendant has been found guilty of three prior stealing-related crimes. 

Class D Misdemeanor: The offense of stealing will be charged as a class D misdemeanor if the stolen property has a value of less than $150. 

Class A Misdemeanor: However, if no other penalty is specified, stealing will be charged as a class A misdemeanor. 

If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with stealing or shoplifting, you need to reach out to a dedicated criminal defense attorney straight away. Your lawyer can enlighten you about the possible penalties and consequences of a shoplifting charge and help determine your best defense strategy. 

Possible Penalties for Shoplifting Charges 

Here are some possible penalties and consequences of shoplifting charges in Missouri:  

  • Hefty fines  

  • Prison sentences (ranging from months, years, or decades)  

  • Probation  

  • A criminal record               

  • Community service  

  • Increased difficulty in getting employment and accommodation.  

  • Increase difficulty in securing public benefits or government assistance.  

  • Loss of rights to vote during elections  

  • Increased difficulty in traveling to other countries  

  • Loss of rights to own or possess a firearm  

  • Ineligibility for certain financial loans.  

A proficient lawyer can identify possible defenses to your shoplifting accusations and prevent the far-reaching consequences of a criminal conviction. 

Common Theft Defenses 

When facing false shoplifting allegations, your defense counsel can help fight your charges using any of the following defenses:  

  • Falsely accused of shoplifting  

  • No intention to steal the property  

  • Borrowed the property from the store and intends to return it.  

  • Intoxication  

  • You acted with the shop owner's consent  

  • Entrapment  

  • Truth or ambiguity of the statement  

A practiced Missouri theft defense attorney can investigate every last detail of your case comprehensively and determine the best defenses in pursuit of the most favorable outcome. 

Turn to Reliable Representation 

Facing shoplifting charges in Missouri can be devastating and can result in immediate and life-long consequences on your liberty, quality of life, personal reputation, and professional opportunities. Unfortunately, trying to defend your shoplifting accusation without experienced representation could increase your risk of suffering the maximum penalties. When facing shoplifting charges, possessing a fierce criminal defense attorney is imperative to help build your defense strategy.  

Attorney Michael Englert has devoted his career to handling criminal cases and defending individuals wrongfully charged with shoplifting or retail theft. As your legal counsel, he can assess and analyze every last detail of your specific situation thoroughly and outline a strong defense strategy to help fight your shoplifting accusations. He has the knowledge to inform you of the Missouri criminal justice system and represent you in every phase of the legal proceedings.  

Don't face your shoplifting charges alone. Contact Michael J Englert, Attorney at Law, today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a highly-skilled theft defense lawyer. Attorney Michael Englert has the strong representation and personalized legal counsel you need in your case. The firm is proud to serve clients across Independence, Lee's Summit, and Blue Springs, Missouri.