Q: I have been charged with Theft by shoplifting in bremen, ga. However when arrested i had not left the store yet
A: Leaving the store is not required to be prosecuted for theft by shoplifting. The key is whether you had intent to steal, which can be proven by the surrounding facts of how the alleged theft took place. For example, placing a store item in your personal bag or concealing an item underneath your clothes, while still in the store, will likely be adequate to prove intent to steal. In most cases, your subjective intent is irrelevant. However, the facts and circumstances around how the alleged theft took place will be key for your case. The above are only a couple examples.
Morris Margulis agrees with this answer
A person commits the offense of theft by shoplifting when such person alone or in concert with another person, with the intent of appropriating merchandise to his or her own use without paying for the same or to deprive the owner of possession thereof or of the value thereof, in whole or in part, does any of the following:
(1) Conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;
(2) Alters the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;
(3) Transfers the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment from one container to another;
(4) Interchanges the label or price tag from one item of merchandise with a label or price tag for another item of merchandise;
(5) Wrongfully causes the amount paid to be less than the merchant’s stated price for the merchandise.
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