I’m a lawyer – my advice could save you jail time if you realize you forgot to pay for an item after leaving the store

A LAWYER has provided advice on what to do if you realize you forgot to pay for an item after leaving a store.

This advice could save anyone who accidentally skips an item in the store.

Attorney Jesse Hernandez clarified on TikTok what stealing is and isn’t – his information could protect you if you’re charged after forgetting to scan an itemCredit: TIKTOK/texaschancla If a person forgets to pay for something, they will not necessarily considered theft. according to HernandezCredit: Getty

“It’s not shoplifting or theft if you forget to pay and walk out,” Jesse Hernandez began his TikTok video, explaining the technicalities of the theft.

He continued: “However, it could turn into theft if you realize you forgot to pay for the item and decide not to return it.

“Theft requires specific intent to knowingly rob the owner at the time you took it. Or later if you decide not to return it.”

Smart folks in the comments pounced on the reality-warping abilities of this clause.

“So as long as I don’t remember, I didn’t steal it,” joked one.

Another comment pointed out the loophole of this change when an employee is involved.

They asked, “So if the cashier didn’t scan the item and didn’t notice, is it shoplifting?” Because it’s not my fault.”

One anecdotal comment encouraged others to “just be honest and pay/return it. They are usually just impressed that you return to pay.”

Recently, there has been an increase in legal action against self-checkout shoplifters.

Carrie Jernigan is an attorney on TikTok who shares her expertise with viewers, including shopping tips.

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In a video recently posted to her profile, Carrie addressed her previous warning about the dangers of self-checkout.

The attorney initially said that Walmart can still track you even if you don’t intentionally steal while using the counter.

This situation applies not only to Walmart, but to every large store.

She claims stores will try to snare old customers when they check lost inventory, even months after the item has left the premises.

Attorney Ralph Manginello said, “If you’re caught shoplifting at Walmart in Texas, you may face criminal theft charges,” although that threat could potentially apply to all of the major department store’s locations.

Hernandez’s advice might make legal sense, but how courts measure “forgetting” may be too contradictory for buyers to risk not remembering.