Ogden, UT asked in Criminal Law for Utah

Q: If you paid for the item before you left the store can you still be charged with shoplifting?

I was in the store waiting for my husband. I was on the phone with the bank. I got up and picked up a water bottle. I sat down and stayed on the phone with the bank. While on the phone I removed the label on the water bottle and put it in my purse. It wasn’t hidden. I also put the label with the anti- theft device on it. When my husband walked up to me I got up and started to exit the store. I set off the alarm. I was still on the phone. I walked over to the cashier and set the water bottle on the counter. I walked back to the store to finish my phone call. After hanging up I went to the cashier and paid for the water bottle and left the store. Now the store wants to charge me for shoplifting. shoplifting

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2 Lawyer Answers
James J. Lee
James J. Lee
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Unfortunatley yes, you can still be charged. Based on what you are saying the store would have several reasons to believe you had the intent to steal the item.

Luckily, there are always possible defenses and/or ways to mitigate damages.

Taylor C. Hartley agrees with this answer

Mr Aric M Cramer Sr.
Mr Aric M Cramer Sr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • St. George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Technically once you pass the last point of payment and have not paid, you have stolen the item. Best to get an attorney on board to assist you.

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