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shoplifting charges

How to Respond to False Shoplifting Allegations

Shoplifting charges can be defended – stand your ground!

Stores lose billions of dollars of merchandise every year to shoplifters. It is no wonder that they are pushing aggressive tactics to prevent or recover those losses. Still, if you have done nothing wrong, facing accusations from a large retailer can be intimidating and frustrating. When they press too hard against you, you can get support from an experienced attorney.

Defending Yourself

Retailers today are sending out letters to shoppers who are accused of shoplifting. This is part of an effort to identify and seek compensation for shoplifters, but often it comes without any proof beyond a suspicion of someone taking an item from the store. The letter identifies the item and the cost involved, threatens criminal charges, adds a penalty, and states an amount that the recipient “owes” the store. It feels like you face collections activity or a lawsuit until you pay up.

If you do receive a letter like this, you have the right to dispute the accusation. An experienced attorney will help you defend yourself. Rather than simply paying the store, you can demand evidence and state that you do not owe the store what the letter demands.

Bringing Suit for Damages

What the stores and their collection agents count on is that the amount they demand may be less than the cost of hiring an attorney. If you have been falsely accused, you have other options. One is to bring a suit against the collections company and the store to compensate you for your damages. This can include your time spent on defending the charges, any lost wages due to the accusation, and the attorney fees you need to spend defending yourself against false charges. Your attorney can help you recover damages for your losses.

When stores falsely accuse you of shoplifting, you have rights. Instead of paying up or accepting charges brought, contact a lawyer to defend your rights and your name. Contact Eisenberg Law Offices at or at (608)256-8356 to learn more.