Can I be charged with shoplifting if I was with a person who was but I didn’t and was not around them when they did it?

Asked on October 1, 2014 under Criminal Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You could be charged with shoplifting if the authorities believe you in some way assisted the shoplifter (such as acting as a lookout or distraction) or conspired (planned) with them to engage in shoplifting. Conspiracy and "aiding and abetting" (assisting or helping) both allow someone to be charged even if they were not the main person committing the crime or were not physically near where the crime was committed.

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