Using a self-checkout kiosk can be very confusing. You might think that you have finished paying for your purchase when the transaction has not yet gone through. If you find yourself being accused of shoplifting, in some cases, you'll simply be able to return the item to the store to pay for it. However, if you are facing charges, it's important to get in contact with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Theft at the Self-Checkout Kiosk

When you use a self-checkout kiosk, a camera will watch you scan the item. There are likely to be other cameras that will see you in the store. Therefore, if you are charged with shoplifting, the surveillance footage will likely be one of the major factors that affect whether or not you will be considered guilty of shoplifting. You might also be caught by a store employee or a security guard.

Shoplifting Consequences

Even if you made a simple mistake, you will face serious consequences if you are charged with shoplifting. For example, you may be forced to pay fines and also spend time in jail. The penalties that you face will be affected by the state in which you reside and also the total value of the items that were stolen. The owner of the store from which you shoplifted might also choose to take civil action against you if the items stolen were lost.

How to Beat Shoplifting Charges

To avoid being found guilty of shoplifting, your defense will need to challenge the arguments made by the prosecutor and will need to poke holes in the evidence that is presented. If you accidentally shoplifted, your attorney will likely try to challenge the idea that you intentionally stole or took possession of the item before paying for it.

Evidence Required to Win Your Case

Shoplifting requires that you have the intention of permanently depriving the store of its merchandise. If you are able to show that you intended to return the product after you realized that you didn't pay for it, this would not be considered shoplifting.

The Role of Witnesses

If you have any witnesses who observed the incident, they might be able to testify on your behalf. An attorney can be very effective at tracking down witnesses so that they can then be called upon in a courtroom. Witnesses can also be useful if the business chooses to sue you afterward. When a criminal defense attorney is able to help you build a solid case, you will be less likely to face criminal penalties.