Shoplifting Charges in Lawrenceville
Lawrenceville Theft Crime Defense Attorney
Although it is one of the least serious theft crimes a person can commit, shoplifting can still result in criminal penalties. Under Official Code of Georgia § 16-8-14, a person commits shoplifting when they conceal or take goods from a retail store; alter the price tag; transfer goods to another container; interchanges price tags between goods; or wrongfully causes the amount paid to be less than the stated price of the merchandise. If the total value of all merchandise involved was $500 or less, the offense is charged as a misdemeanor. When the value is above $500, it is charged as a felony.
Penalties for Shoplifting
Repeat offenses increase the penalties for shoplifting. For a second offense, the fine will be a minimum of $500 on top of the regular penalties for a misdemeanor, which include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year. A third offense can result in a minimum 30 days in jail, or 120 days in a community correctional facility or under supervised house arrest. Upon a fourth or subsequent offense, the charge becomes a felony resulting in a state prison sentence of 1-10 years.
Grounds for Defense Against Shoplifting Charges
There are several ways in which you can fight your shoplifting charges. The strongest defense is to prove that you were unaware that the item was in your possession or that you failed to pay the full price. For example, many individuals accidentally walk out of a store with an item they didn't pay for simply because they were distracted at the time. You can also be wrongfully accused of switching or altering price tags when you did not do so. The prosecution must be able to provide evidence that you altered or switched a price tag or else they have no grounds to prosecute your case. You can also fight your charges by proving that a store employee quoted a certain price to you, failed to charge you for the item, or failed to remove a security device from the merchandise before you left.
Consult with a Lawrenceville Criminal Lawyer
Attorney Robert Booker provides personalized counsel and representation for each of his clients. Unlike other firms that treat you as a number, the legal team at the Law Office of Robert L. Booker will demonstrate compassion and will provide the client service that you deserve. They understand the difficult situation you are facing after being charged with shoplifting and they will work directly with you to obtain the results you need. Get started on your case today by filling out the firm's free case evaluation form or by calling to schedule your complimentary consultation. Your initial evaluation is absolutely free, so contact the firm today!