My name is Matthew Marin and I am a RI Shoplifting Lawyer who understands how the prosecution approaches Theft and Shoplifting cases. I will thoroughly examine the details of your case and the theft charges you are facing, and I will take the time to understand you as a person. In every case involving theft, retail theft, employee theft charges or shoplifting arrest, my goal is to protect your rights and bring about a fair resolution.
Representative Rhode Island Shoplifting Case
Charge: Misdemeanor Shoplifting (1st Offense)
Client: 24 Year Old Female with No Prior Criminal History
Results: Charge Dismissed and in the Process of Expungment
Case Summary: In March of 2017 we were contacted by a young man who was seeking assistance and legal representation. He was in need of help because his fiance had been arrested by a local police department and charged with misdemeanor shoplifting at Walmart. She was alleged to have walked out of Walmart with almost $300.00 worth of merchandise without paying for it. She had never been in trouble before, but was going through a difficult period in her life.
We recommended that she preemptively engage in some mental health counseling to reduce her stress level and begin to address the issues that had ultimately lead to her arrest. By the time that her case proceeded to Court, she had made great strides getting her life back on track. We were able to advocate on her behalf to both the Prosecutor and the Police and explain how her stressors had lead to this arrest. Additionally, we were able to provide them with documentation showing that she had gone out on her own and taken the steps necessary to address those stressors and get her life back on track.
Based on the steps taken by our Client and our effective advocacy, we were able to convince the Prosecution to drop the case (dismiss) based on a small number of hours of public, non-profit community service. Currently, we are in the process of expunging and sealing the case from her record. Soon, she will be able to move on from this negative experience in her life without having a permanent mark on her criminal record. Once the case is expunged, she will be able to lawfully state that she has never been arrested for or convicted of any criminal offense.
Representative Case Client Review Posted on Avvo.com:
Call Attorney Marin now to speak directly with an Experienced Shoplifting Defense Lawyer – (401) 228-8271
If you or a family member faces a shoplifting arrest or retail theft charges, contact RI Shoplifting Attorney Matthew Marin for the personal and professional attention your rights and your case deserve. I will walk with you through the entire process of an employee theft, retail theft, or shoplifting arrest, defense, and your RI retail theft defense options.
As a RI Shoplifting Lawyer I take my job as criminal defense attorney very seriously, and work relentlessly to achieve the very best result for my clients in and out of court. I strongly believe that a well-planned defense strategy and the assistance of an experienced and skillful local Shoplifting Lawyer can make all the difference between a criminal conviction - and a verdict of “not guilty.”
§ 11-41-20 Shoplifting.
(a) For the purpose of this section:
(1) "Conceal" means to place merchandise in such a manner that it is not visible through ordinary observation.
(2) "Full retail value" means the merchant's stated price of the merchandise.
(3) "Merchandise" means any items of tangible personal property offered for sale within a retail mercantile establishment.
(4) "Merchant" means an owner or operator of any retail mercantile establishment or any agent, employee, lessee, officer, or director of the owner or operator.
(5) "Premises of a retail mercantile establishment" includes the retail mercantile establishment, and common use areas in shopping centers, and all parking areas set aside by a merchant or on behalf of a merchant for the parking of vehicles for the convenience of the patrons of the retail mercantile establishment.
(6) "Retail mercantile establishment" means any place where merchandise is displayed, held, stored or offered for sale to the public.
(7) "Shopping cart" means those push carts of the type or types which are commonly provided by grocery stores, drug stores, or other retail mercantile establishments for the use of the public in transporting commodities on or from the premises of the retail mercantile establishment.
(b) Whoever shall engage in the following shall be guilty of the crime of shoplifting:
(1) Take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale by a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or any part of the full retail value of the merchandise;
(2) Alter, transfer, or remove a label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment and attempt to purchase or purchase the merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or any part of the full retail value of such merchandise;
(3) Transfer any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment from one container to another in an attempt to purchase or purchase the merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or any part of the full retail value of the merchandise; or
(4) Remove a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of the removal with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use, or benefit of the cart.
(c) The fact that a person conceals upon his person, among his or her belongings, or upon the person or among the belongings of another merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment, for which he or she has not paid the full retail value, and the merchandise has been taken beyond the area within the retail mercantile establishment where payment for it is to be made, shall be prima facie evidence that the person has possessed, carried away, or transferred the merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or part of the full retail value of the merchandise without paying the full retail value of the merchandise.
(d) Any person convicted of the crime of shoplifting shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) or two times the full retail value of the merchandise, whichever is greater, but not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both; provided, any person convicted of the crime of shoplifting merchandise with a retail value of over one hundred dollars ($100) who has previously been convicted of shoplifting shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, or both.
§ 11-41-20.1 Shoplifting – Use of implements in concealment.
Whoever shall willfully take possession of any goods, wares, or merchandise offered for sale by any store or other mercantile establishment, or whoever shall willfully conceal upon his or her person, among his belongings, or upon the person or among the belongings of another unpurchased goods, wares, or merchandise of any store or other mercantile establishment either inside the store or other mercantile establishment or outside, but in its immediate vicinity, with the intention of converting it to his or her own use without paying the purchase price, with intention of depriving the owner of all or some part of the value, while wearing any article of clothing, or carrying any implement of any kind specifically designed or adapted for the purpose of concealing, carrying away, or otherwise unlawfully removing any merchandise from a store, knowing the clothing or implement to be designed or adapted for that purpose, with the intent to use or employ it or allow it be used or employed for an unlawful purpose, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) or by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, or both.
§ 11-41-21 Shoplifting – Enforcement.
(a) Any person reasonably believed to have committed or to be committing the crime of shoplifting as defined in § 11-41-20 shall be subject to detention by a police officer in accordance with § 12-7-1.
(b) Any merchant who observes any person concealing or attempting to conceal merchandise on his person or amongst his or her belongings or upon the person or amongst the belongings of another, transporting merchandise beyond the area within the retail mercantile establishment where payment for it is to be made without making payment for it, removing or altering price tags on merchandise, or switching the containers of merchandise may stop the person. Immediately upon stopping the person, the merchant shall identify himself or herself and state his or her reason for stopping the person. If after his or her initial confrontation with the person under suspicion, the merchant has reasonable grounds to believe that at the time stopped the person was committing or attempting to commit the crime of shoplifting on the premises, the merchant may detain the person for a reasonable time sufficient to summon a police officer to the premises. In no case shall the detention be for a period exceeding one hour. Detention must be accomplished in a reasonable manner without unreasonable restraint or excessive force, and may take place only on the premises of the retail mercantile establishment where the alleged shoplifting occurred. Any person so stopped by a merchant pursuant to this section shall promptly identify himself or herself by name and address. Once placed under detention, no other information shall be required of the person and no written and/or signed statement, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, shall be elicited from the person until a police officer has taken him or her into custody. The merchant may, however, examine for the purposes of ascertaining ownership any merchandise which is in plain view which the merchant has reasonable grounds to believe was unlawfully taken or otherwise tampered with in violation of § 11-41-20.
(c) A merchant may request a person detained for shoplifting to sign a statement waiving his or her right to bring a civil action arising from the detention in return for a signed statement from the merchant waiving the right to bring criminal charges based upon the alleged shoplifting. Any statement shall state in writing in large print at the top of the form that the person detained has a right to remain silent and a right not to make or sign any statement and a right to call an attorney.
(2) It shall be unlawful to circulate or cause to be circulated any signed statement or the name of any person signing the statement to a person or persons not employed by the retail mercantile establishment which obtained the statement, other than in defense of a legal action arising from the detention. Any person circulating or causing to be circulated this information shall be civilly liable to the person who signed the statement.
(d) For the purposes of this section, "reasonable grounds" includes knowledge that a person has concealed unpurchased merchandise of the establishment while on the premises, or has altered or removed identifying labels on merchandise while on the premises, or is leaving the premises with unpurchased concealed or altered merchandise in his or her possession.
(e) In detaining a person whom the merchant has reasonable grounds to believe is committing the crime of shoplifting, the merchant may use a reasonable amount of non-deadly force when and only when that force is necessary to protect himself or herself, or to prevent the escape of the person being detained or the loss of his or her property.
(f) In any civil action by a person detained under this section against the merchant so detaining him or her arising out of the detention, evidence that the defendant had reasonable grounds as defined in subsection (d) of this section to believe that the plaintiff was at the time in question committing or attempting to commit the crime of shoplifting as defined in § 11-41-20 shall create a rebuttable presumption that the plaintiff was so committing or attempting to commit the crime.