Villarini & Henry, L.L.P.
888-834-8623 716-312-1136

Can someone be addicted to stealing?

No one wants to have their belongings stolen. In some cases, thieves don’t want to steal. There may be a number of reasons why a person turns to theft—including a compulsive disorder.

Some people are career criminals that choose theft in order to make money or for other personal gain. But some people who steal have a disorder, called Kleptomania, that makes them feel compelled to take things.

What is Kleptomania?

Kleptomania is a physiological impulse control disorder that gives people the urge to steal. In most cases, Kleptomaniacs don’t need the items they are shoplifting, they simply cannot resist the impulse to take them.

Victims of Kleptomania should speak with a doctor about their impulses. Taking medication or talking with a therapist may help reduce the urge to steal.

Signs of addiction

There are symptoms of Kleptomania, some of which include:

  • Cannot resist urges to steal
  • Stealing items you don’t want or need
  • Feeling pleasure or relief while stealing
  • Being ashamed or afraid of arrest after theft
  • Feeling the same urges to steal repeatedly

This disorder may make you feel afraid, anxious, and angry. Turn to a doctor, friends, family members and other resources to help manage these feelings. If you have been charged with theft and believe you may have Kleptomania, you may want to speak with a defense attorney.

Speaking with a doctor and an attorney may help your addiction and your criminal case.

Could you get treatment instead of jail time?

The court considers may factors when determining what your punishment will be. If the court finds that you are a Kleptomaniac, you may be able to receive medical treatment instead of a criminal conviction.

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