Willful Concealment: New Hampshire Shoplifting Laws

Busted for Shoplifting in New Hampshire?

Taking someone else's property or money without their permission is theft; if the property is allegedly taken from a store it is commonly known as "shoplifting". Under New Hampshire's theft law, shoplifting is called “willful concealment”.  N.H. RSA 637:3-a Willful Concealment is the relevant law, which defines this crime as follows:

  “  I. A person is guilty of willful concealment if, without authority, he or she willfully conceals the goods or merchandise of any store while still upon the premises of such store. Goods or merchandise found concealed upon the person shall be prima facie evidence of willful concealment. Notwithstanding RSA 637:11, willful concealment shall be a misdemeanor.
    II. A person commits theft if, with the purpose to deprive a merchant of goods or merchandise, he or she knowingly:
       (a) Removes goods or merchandise from the premises of a merchant; or
       (b) Alters, transfers, or removes any price marking affixed to goods or merchandise; or
       (c) Causes the cash register or other sales recording device to reflect less than the merchant's stated or advertised price for the goods or merchandise; or
       (d) Transfers goods or merchandise from the container in which such goods or merchandise were intended to be sold to another container.”  RSA 637:3-a.

For shoplifting / willful concealment crimes, the level of offense charged, and therefore the potential penalties, is based on two main factors: the value of the items alleged to have been stolen; and the number of prior theft convictions on the person’s criminal record.

If you are not a citizen, any potential theft conviction triggers potentially catastrophic consequences including deportation.

If you or a loved one have been charged with shoplifting, theft, or willful concealment, it is imperative that you contact a New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer who has experience defending theft crimes right away, so they can begin building the best defense possible for your case.

Call Attorney Mark Stevens at 603-893-0074 today for a free consultation about your willful concealment or shoplifting charges.

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