Gwinnett County Shoplifting Lawyer
Although shoplifting may come across as a minor offense, a convicted person could find it difficult to move on with their life upon serving their sentence. Not only would they come across as untrustworthy in the eyes of a potential employer, but they could also be negatively stigmatized when trying to obtain housing.
A trusted criminal attorney may be able to help you avoid some of the potentially severe implications of theft by shoplifting convictions. For a free consultation, be sure to get in touch with a Gwinnett County shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible.
What is Considered Theft in Gwinnett County?
O.C.G.A. § 16-8-14 defines the different situations that may constitute theft by shoplifting. All these actions require an intent to deprive the business owner or seller of the full value of the merchandise. For example, theft by shoplifting includes:
- Removing merchandise from a store without paying for it
- Changing or switching price tags on items to pay a lower price for merchandise than it is worth.
- Moving merchandise from one container to another to pay less for it
- Taking any other action to pay less than full price for merchandise
Penalties for Gwinnett County Theft by Shoplifting
The penalties for theft by shoplifting depend on the full retail value of the merchandise stolen. Not only does the price determine whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor, but the price establishes the ultimate penalties for the crime. A prior history of convictions could also contribute to the sanctions that an individual may receive for a theft by shoplifting conviction.
Misdemeanor shoplifting charges occurs when the stolen merchandise is worth less than $500 in value. A conviction for misdemeanor shoplifting may result in up to one year in jail and a fine. However, if the merchandise is worth more than $500, the offense would be considered a felony punishable by one to ten years in prison.
Subsequent Theft Convictions
Subsequent theft by shoplifting convictions, whether the prior convictions are for misdemeanors or felonies, may result in more severe penalties. A second conviction requires a mandatory $500 fine that courts cannot order suspended or probated. For a third shoplifting conviction, penalties may include:
- 30 to 120 days in a probation boot camp, detention center, or other community corrections facility
- House arrest for 120 days
- Mandatory psychological evaluations and treatment
A fourth or subsequent shoplifting conviction can result in a felony charge. This offense can carry a mandatory minimum one-year sentence, with a maximum sentence of ten years. As the penalties for shoplifting for individuals with prior convictions can be significant, consulting a Gwinnett County shoplifting lawyer may be wise.
Contact a Gwinnett County Shoplifting Attorney
By working with a Gwinnett County shoplifting lawyer, you may be able to minimize your exposure to the penalties you upon conviction or enable you to avoid a conviction altogether.
Every case is different, and outright dismissal of your case is not always possible. Nonetheless, you have the right to fight back against the charges and raises the defenses that may be applicable in your case. Schedule a consultation today to get started on your case.