A shoplifting conviction in Georgia can be a potentially life-altering event. The severity rests largely with the amount stolen, but you may be surprised at what constitutes shoplifting. For example, are you aware that you don’t have to leave the store with the merchandise in order to be charged with this offense?
Georgia Shoplifting Law
From a misdemeanor to a felony offense, shoplifting is a criminal violation that can have varying impact on your criminal record, penalties for any future violations, and your professional opportunities. The act of shoplifting is marked by your intention. The law views the following behavior as actions that are meant to intentional deprive an owner of the value of his goods, partially or completely:
- Concealing the merchandise, such as on your person or in a purse or bag,
- Altering or switching price tags,
- Purposefully supporting or causing inaccurate price charges, and
- Moving products from one container to another.
- Any of these actions can lead to a shoplifting charge.
If the merchandise you are accused of taking carries a value of less than $300, you are facing a misdemeanor offense. This carries a potential jail sentence of up to 12 months and no more than $1,000 in total fines.
Felony shoplifting charges apply when the value of stolen merchandise exceeds $300. This crime carries a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years. You may also face a felony charge if you steal merchandise from three separate stores during a 7-day period, all within the same county. This applies if the products stolen are valued at more than $100 at each store. Prior convictions will impact the penalties you are facing for all levels of shoplifting.
A shoplifting charge is serious, but it doesn’t have to be the end of world. At Treadaway & Treadaway, our knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney can make a world of difference in the outcome of your shoplifting case. If you’re facing shoplifting charges, contact a Georgia criminal defense attorney today at Treadaway & Treadaway.