Instances of theft and shoplifting are commonly grouped in the same category of crimes and judged in a similar way. However, there is a huge difference between a bank raid and stealing a soft drink in a grocery store. While this is true, any type of theft or shoplifting is a crime and should warrant criminal charges if the defendant is guilty.
Those who engage in petty theft are often repeat offenders who take low-priced items. It is often a sign of poor impulse control and addictive compulsive disorders. If you have found yourself in a store with a huge urge to take something of low value, and feel that you are unable to resist this urge even though you know it is wrong and that you are not set to gain anything of significant value, you may be suffering from compulsive stealing, otherwise known as kleptomania. The following is an overview of how kleptomania is defined and how it may help you in your defense.
What is kleptomania?
Kleptomania is recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and it is defined as a compulsive urge to steal, not due to a desire for a material gain, but because they feel psychologically compelled. When this urge is not resisted, kleptomania results. A person with kleptomania may steal things that they do not need, things that they can afford and things of low value.
What causes kleptomania?
While genetics, biology and life events may be the main causes, the disorder is often linked with obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety and addiction.
Can I use my diagnosis as part of my defense?
It’s unlikely that you will be able to avoid charges if you admit to theft. However, by showing that you have a mental condition, the courts will have a better understanding of why you acted in the way you did and may act more sympathetically.
It is important to seek therapy if you are suffering from kleptomania as well as ensuring that you defend yourself from shoplifting accusations.