Arrested For Theft At A Supermarket? A Defense That You Were Going To Pay For The Item May Be Possible
If you're shopping at the local supermarket when you're hungry, you might be tempted to open up something in your cart and snack on it to relieve your hunger. However, if a supermarket security guard were to observe you doing so, he or she may believe that you're simply stealing food. The guard may call the police, who may decide to charge you with theft. This could be a giant misunderstanding, as your intention may have been to pay for the item before you leave — perhaps by simply having the cashier scan the empty wrapper. If you've been charged, you should hire a criminal defense attorney and build a defense around these points.
You Bought Something With A Wrapper
The food that you decided to eat can often indicate whether you might have planned to pay for it at the conclusion of your supermarket visit or whether you were actually up to something nefarious. For example, if you grabbed some candy or other snacks out of a bulk container and ate them, it's difficult to argue that you planned to pay afterward. That's because it's impossible for the store to know exactly how much you ate, and thus how much to charge you. However, with other products, the argument that you planned to pay is easier. You can argue that you bought something with a wrapper — a candy bar or a bag of chips, for example — that the cashier could scan.
You Kept The Wrapper
If you were to grab a bag of chips or something else with a wrapper or bag and consume it without the intention of paying, you'd likely look for a way to get rid of the wrapper or bag at some point during your supermarket visit. If you were detained with the wrapper in your possession, this can be good for your defense. Your criminal defense attorney will argue that because you kept the wrapper and its bar code in your possession, you had a full intention to pay.
You Consumed The Food Openly
If you were walking around the supermarket eating the food openly, this can be good for your defense. Openly eating the product that you grabbed indicates that you weren't trying to break the law. Conversely, someone who was to eat something without the intention of paying for it would likely be discreet while eating. Ideally, your criminal defense attorney can get video camera footage from the supermarket that shows how you weren't hiding your actions.
For more information, contact a local attorney like Barry W Engle PC.