What should you do if your Holiday Shopping turns into a Shoplifting or Larceny charge?


Around the holidays the malls are packed full of shoppers filling their carts to the brim. Along with shoppers, the malls are also packed with Loss Prevention Officers (LPO’s) who spend each day looking for shoppers who skip the cash register.

You might assume that if you do not see any workers nearby you are in the clear, however, most stores now have security cameras at every turn which are monitored live from a back office. If you are charged with shoplifting or larceny at one of the major stores like, Belk, Walmart, Ulta, Kohls, Target etc. or a smaller store, you should call an attorney right away.


What is the difference between Shoplifting and Larceny?

·         To be found guilty of Shoplifting, the State must prove that you willfully concealed (hid) the goods or merchandise of a store without authority, and without purchasing the good or merchandise while still on the premises of the store (meaning you did not actually walk out of the store with the goods).

·         To be found guilty of Larceny, the State must prove that you took personal property in the possession of another (like a store) and carried it away without that person/store’s permission with the intent to permanently keep the possession even though you knew you were not entitled to it. 


If it is your first offense, we may be able to enroll you in a first time offender program to earn a dismissal.  If it is not your first offense, or if you believe you were wrongly charged, we can aggressively fight your charge in court. Sometimes the loss prevention officer’s do not show up to court, or do not have a video of the alleged activity. Without the loss prevention officer, it is very difficult or impossible for the State of North Carolina to prove their case.

If you were charged with shoplifting, or larceny contact attorney Kristi Haddock or attorney Wiley Nickel with The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation. You may reach us by phone at 919-585-1486 or by email at Kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley@wileynickel.com . Our office is conveniently located in Cary near the Harrison Avenue exit off I-40. 

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Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.