If you have been arrested for shoplifting, you may ultimately be charged with a felony, on the value of the merchandise you are accused of taking. According to Georgia law, if the value of the merchandise exceeds $300, you could be charged with a felony.
Shoplifting is defined by Georgia law as hiding or taking merchandise or goods from stores and retail establishments. If you change the price on merchandise, you may also be charged with shoplifting. If you change the price tags or labels from one item to another, or if you transfer the merchandise or goods to a different container, you may also be charged with shoplifting. Finally, if you otherwise cause the amount you pay foran item to be less than the price that was marked, you could be charged with shoplifting.
Additionally, if you were accused of taking goods from three different stores in the same county and during a seven-day period, and each theft is valued at over $100, you may be convicted and sentenced for felony shoplifting.
The value of the stolen goods is the actual retail price of the items as they were marked at the time stolen. The price tag serves as prima-facie evidence of the value of the property and the ownership of the property. If the price was altered, the value is the unaltered price tag.
If you are convicted of felony shoplifting, you face imprisonment for at least one year and could be sentenced for up to 10 years. If you are charged with a second offense, whether the charges are felonies or misdemeanors, you may also be subject to a $250 fine. That fine cannot be probated or suspended. The fine may be in lieu of or in addition to jail time.
If you are facing shoplifting charges, whether misdemeanor or felony, contact us today for a free consultation.