What are the Consequences of Shoplifting in Georgia?

Shoplifting is a very serious and common problem in the state of Georgia. It is because of this that state law enforcement and courts are strict in penalizing offenders. Sometimes, a person can be detained and charged with shoplifting right after leaving the store. Other times, they can be arrested days later after their identity is discovered. Shoplifting can include stealing all types of items, no matter how small or big. The consequences that stem from these actions can vary depending on the item that is stolen and its value. Penalties can range from fines to jail time. Regardless, anyone facing shoplifting charges should enlist the services of an experienced attorney to help their case.

Shoplifting Law in Georgia

In Georgia, shoplifting is defined as performing certain actions with the intention of taking merchandise without paying for it or depriving the owner of possession of the merchandise or its value. The majority of the time, shoplifting takes place when a person leaves a store without paying for their items. However, there are other ways this can take place. The law outlines five different ways shoplifting can occur. This can include:

  • Concealing or taking possession of merchandise
  • Altering price tags
  • Switching price tags
  • Wrongfully causing the amount to be lower than the amount it is supposed to be
  • Moving merchandise to a different container

Consequences of Shoplifting

It is important to know that a shoplifting offense can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. This distinction is made depending on the value of the item that is stolen. If the value of the item that was stolen is $300 or less, it can result in a misdemeanor conviction. However, it can result in a felony charge in the event of one of the following:

  • If the value of the property is more than $300
  • If the property is stolen from three separate stores in the same county within a 7 day period

If a person is convicted for shoplifting a second time, they can face a fine of at least $250 with the possibility of imprisonment. For a third-time offender in Georgia, the individual may receive a sentence of 30 days in prison or an alternative confinement sentence. This can include home detention or psychological treatment at their own expense. If a person shoplifts for the fourth time, they may be sentenced to imprisonment for at least one year with a maximum of ten years. 

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Alfred Law Firm, LLC is proud to serve clients in Georgia when they face legal matters related to family law and criminal defense. When legal issues arise, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced attorney that can help you obtain a favorable outcome. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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