Black Friday, the day where retail stores advertise crazy deals in hopes to attracting huge crowds of shoppers into their store. Sales hit record highs, inventory hits record lows, and certain crime statistics are off the charts. We are here to educate all shoppers of the top 5 Black Friday criminal offenses and remind everyone how to shop responsibly this holiday season.
Inciting a Riot
With limited inventory and discounted pricing, consumers are often quite anxious about getting their hands on the product they’re targeting. With emotions running on a high, people often act out in ways that seem bizarre. Believe it or not, shoppers have been arrested and charged for offenses as serious as inciting a riot.
If one is found urging others to be violent or destructive to property or personnel and creates a sense of danger, they could face up to one year of jail time and potential fines.
Brandishing a Weapon, Gun, or Firearm
This often occurs on black Friday if someone feels they are in danger. In a public setting, there may be some legitimate questions as to whether brandishing a firearm falls under the protections of stand your ground or self-defense.
Bad Checks / Check Fraud
An individual who attempts to write a check knowing there are insufficient funds in their account for said purchase, could be charged with passing a bad check. Depending on the amount and quantity, someone could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges.
Assault & Battery
With the masses of people that line up and rush into stores, there is often accidental bumping or pushing. Due to this, many physical assaults and batteries can occur.
Simply attempting to inflict injury on a person could leave you with an assault charge. If one does physically touch an individual, they could be charged with battery. Depending on the charge and amount of injury, the assaulter could face up to 1 year of jail time and fines.
With the prevalence of security cameras, retail outlets have effectively cracked down on theft offenses over the last few years. Having crowds of people in the store at once can provide ample opportunity for thieves. People may think they can get away with sneaking out, but are often caught.
Theft of less than $750, can result in misdemeanor petit theft charges. If the stolen property is worth over $750, one could face felony grand theft. This can leads to longer jail time and higher fines.
Be a Smart Shopper This Holiday Season
Keep in mind that it’s the holidays and emotions run high. Be patient, be kind, and don’t break the law to get the best deals – it’s not worth it. If you or someone you know does find themselves being charged with one of these offenses, reach out to our team to learn about how we can help your case.