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What You Should Know About Shoplifting Charges

Shoplifting often seems like a light charge when you read about it, but is it really as light as you think? You may find that shoplifting is more serious after you have been arrested and charged with a crime.

If you or somebody you love is facing shoplifting charges, this is what you need to know about the process of fighting your charges in criminal court. You may be surprised at the steps you need to take.

What Is Shoplifting?

Shoplifting is the knowing theft of property, carrying the intention to deprive the owner's property of the use or value of the property. It is done so with intention or malice, without intention to pay for property taken.

There are actually several types of shoplifting. The value of the items taken has a lot to do with the shoplifting charges you face. It is more likely that a judge will drop your charges if you were charged with stealing something worth $5 compared to stealing something worth $400.

Additionally, you could face very severe consequences if the value of the items allegedly stolen is valued at over $1,000. This may be considered larceny or a felony depending on where you are.

What Are the Consequences of Shoplifting?

Shoplifting actually does come with some severe shoplifting charges. While it is often a misdemeanor, this could still mean that you face months in jail followed by years of probation. You could face potential fines, which you could be paying for years.

If the value of the items stolen is above a specific threshold, you could face a felony. This means you could face over a year in prison on top of the fines, parole, probation, and more.

No matter what you are charged with, these charges can stay on your record for others to see. This can be incredibly damaging for your reputation and could impact where you are able to live and work.

What Should You Do If You Face Shoplifting Charges?

You should never take shoplifting or other theft charges lightly. Fighting these charges is always a good idea, especially because a conviction can lead to serious long-term consequences. Make sure that you understand the charges you face before you go to court.

You should also hire a criminal defense attorney if you are facing these charges. An attorney is well-equipped to help you fight these charges in court and protect your rights.

If you have further questions about shoplifting, reach out to a local criminal lawyer.