Stöld/ringa stöld - hur processen ser ut

Dear Sir/Madam,I am an international student and I was accused of shoplifting yesterday, When I shopping in ICA, I put all items in my own shopping bags and when I pay the bill at checkstand, I didn't notice that I forgot to pay all of things in my bag, which include lots of protein bars and seafood which were at the bottom of my bag and cost around 1100SEK. However, I didn't have motivation and intention to steal these food. I have enough cash (around 3000SEK) and two credit cards in my wallet and I just had headache and hypotension which make me cannot think anything, I was dizzy and sleepy, just hoped to come home immediately and cook food( I didn't eat anything more than 30 hours) and didn't realize my mistake even the staff wanted to check my bags. I just study in the Stockholm for three months, my family give me adequate financial support, why I need to become a mooch? I didn't hide merchandises, they just in my bag but I didn't realize that!

And police told me I need to go the the local court. I am very nervous and this is the first time I talk to the police and be charged, because I think I can take responsibility for my bad shopping habit and mistake of forgetting to pay instead of be considered as a thief, and I am willing to pay what I forgot. I never do anything bad before and I don't want to have a record about this. It is totally an accident and I am not a thief, I am just a stupid and tired person who was careless and goofs off to forget to pay everything.

Lawline svarar

Hi and thanks for approaching Lawline with your question!

I am going to divide the answer in separate parts that will explain different aspects of your situation. I will also be referencing laws in the form of links that you can click to read the law yourself (unfortunately it's in Swedish).

What crime are you accused of?

To begin with, there at two legal statutes that are relevant in this case. One, is called stöld(theft) and can be found in 8 kap. 1 § Brottsbalken(BrB). This law prohibits unlawful possession of what belongs to others, with the intention of appropriating it, if the unlawful possession entails damages (for example economic damages). The punishment ranges from a fine up to two years in prison.

The second crime that you can found yourself accused of is called ringa stöld(petty theft), which can be found in 8 kap. 2 § BrB. The prerequisites for the crime are the same as the ones mentioned above. However, petty theft requires that the value of the merchandise and the circumstances are of minor offence. In caselaw (a case in 2009) the value for petty theft seem to be drawn at 1000 sek. The penalty for petty theft ranges from a fine up to six months in prison.

What will the outcome probably be?

As you can see the value of the merchandise you are being accused of stealing is right at the border between theft and petty theft. I cannot confidently say which one the attorney will prosecute you for. The attorney can in this case choose to prosecute you for both crimes, theft primarily and petty theft secondarily. It will be up to the court to decide which one they will sentence you to. I will explain the courts assessment further below.

The courts assessment

The court will in this case be looking at the value of the stolen goods. They will also be looking at the circumstances regarding the situation at the time. Things such as, where you were caught, where the goods were "hidden" as so forth will be a part of the courts assessment. One of the most important aspects the court will assess is your intentions. As I described earlier, it is necessary that you intended to steal the goods, and to appropriate it, since those are the prerequisites of the crimes at hand. If the attorney cannot prove your intentions, the court might release you.

In terms of punishment, I believe a fine might be the outcome if you are sentenced to any of the crimes at hand. I have a very hard time seeing the court sentence you to any kind of prison sentence, especially if this is a first-time offence. The fine can be around a couple of thousand Swedish crowns.

My assessment of your situation

Unfortunately, I can't make a good assessment of your situation since I don't have all the details. I would however like to encourage you to explain the situation as well as you can to the court, and to be honest. It is always preferred to be honest with the court and try and gain their understanding. You are fighting an uphill battle here, but I hope things will turn out in your favour.

I hope I was able to answer your question well. If you have any other questions you are welcome to write in the comments section or send in a new question.

Kind Regards,


Hashim Mohammed RithaRådgivare
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