2591 Dallas Parkway, Suite 207A, Frisco, TX 75034

Free Consultations




Can Someone Accidentally Shoplift by Making a Mistake at a Self-Checkout?

 Posted on March 28, 2022 in Criminal Defense

TX defense lawyerThe way we shop for groceries, household items, and other goods has changed dramatically in recent years. Before the technological advances of the last few decades, shoppers paid cashiers directly with either cash or credit cards. Self-checkout kiosks started gaining popularity in the 90s and early 2000s. Now, many stores have a greater number of self-checkout systems than human cashiers. Shoppers also have multiple ways to pay for their items including contactless credit cards and smartphone applications.

It can be hard to keep up with all of these changes. Sometimes, a person may think that they paid for all of their items when they actually failed to pay for an item or underpaid for an item. In some cases, a simple mistake like this can even lead to criminal charges for shoplifting.

Is it Possible to Shoplift by Accident?

Consider the following scenario. A busy woman struggling to shop with her two young children uses a self-checkout machine to scan and pay for her items. As she is scanning items and placing them into the bags, she accidentally skips an expensive makeup palette. Not realizing her mistake, the woman places the items in the bags, pays for her items, and walks out of the store. As soon as she has exited the store, she is confronted by loss prevention staff and accused of stealing the makeup palette. Did the woman steal the makeup if she did not actually intend to leave the store without paying for it? Can the woman face legal consequences for shoplifting because of a simple mistake?

In Texas, theft may be a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the value of the allegedly stolen goods. In some cases, it is possible to face heavy fines and even jail time for shoplifting. Fortunately, theft is an intentional act. To convict someone of theft, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person intentionally or knowingly stole the items. The “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard is the highest burden of proof in the American legal system.

Legal Support for Individuals Accused of Theft

Theft charges can lead to significant consequences, including damage to the accused person’s personal and professional reputation. If you or a loved one were accused of theft, contact a criminal defense lawyer for help.

Contact a Collin County Theft Defense Lawyer

The Frisco criminal defense attorneys at Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. serve clients accused of shoplifting, theft, drunk driving, and other criminal offenses. We can help you defend yourself against shoplifting charges. Call our office today at 469-333-3333 for a free consultation.




Share this post:
top 100 avvo best business top 40 fox usa cnn wfaa elite lawyer
Back to Top