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Shoplifting Laws

Shoplifting is when an individual steals goods from a shop while pretending to be a customer. Shoplifting is a form of theft and can result in the person carrying out the offence being prosecuted. The most common type of shoplifting involves the person concealing items on them, or an accomplice, and leaving the shop without paying. However, it also occurs in many other ways. These include:

  • Price switching (swapping the price labels of different goods);
  • Refund fraud;
  • Returning clothes after they have been worn; and
  • Eating or sampling a shop’s goods while in the store.


Shoplifting charges depend of the severity of the offence, and your previous crime history. The main consequences of being caught shoplifting are:

  • Depending on the severity of the shoplifting offence you could be sentenced to prison;
  • A police caution;
  • A criminal record; or
  • Being banned from the particular shop, or whole chain.

If you are involved in shoplifting, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. We appreciate that this may be a very difficult and stressful time and we can assure you that we will make this process run as smooth as possible. At Bloomsbury Law, we understand that no case is the same. This is why we work on a bespoke level to provide you with the best service possible. If you are seeking legal advice, call one of our specialists, we will listen to your situation, answer any enquiries that you may have, and advise you accordingly once we are instructed.

Recent changes to Legal Aid have meant that funding is now very limited for criminal cases, we do not feel that it is possible to represent clients to the standard that we would think is necessary and therefore, we do not therefore offer Legal Aid.

What do I do next?

Contact us online or speak to one of our dedicated specialists on 0207 998 7777 for a free initial consultation. With our vast experience in the field, our bilingual speaking team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible. All information you provide us with is treated with the utmost confidentiality.

We will contact you no later than the next working day to arrange a meeting at our offices in London W1 to advise on the agreement.

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