Shoplifting may seem like a victimless crime, but it is certainly not seen like that in the eyes of the law. Shoplifting can be a serious offense in Georgia, and some of those charged are shocked when they learn that they could be facing felony charges and up to 10 years in prison for things like changing price tags, concealing goods, and stealing commercial items. In Georgia, the severity of the penalty depends on the number of goods stolen or profit made based on these theft schemes, as well as whether you have been convicted of theft offenses in the past. You may think that because you have faced shoplifting charges before, you know what to expect, but that is not always the case. Instead, each time you are charged, the penalties will be more serious. For this reason, it is always important to fight theft and shoplifting charges when they are brought against you, even when they are misdemeanor charges.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Shoplifting in Georgia
Under Georgia law, a misdemeanor theft or shoplifting offense involves property valued at less than $300. Shoplifting is not limited to stealing or concealing merchandise; it can involve switching tags on merchandise or the containers that they are in, such as switching the price tag from an expensive shirt with a cheaper one. The penalties for misdemeanor shoplifting can be up to a year in prison and $1,000 in fines. It is important to note that the penalties for shoplifting become harsher each time after the initial offense. Additionally, in some cases, shoplifting that would otherwise count as a misdemeanor can be charged as a felony. For instance, if you are found to have shoplifted from three stores in one county during the same week, and each theft was at least $100, the cumulative crime will be charged as a felony instead of as three misdemeanors.
Penalties for Felony Shoplifting in Georgia
A person who steals merchandise or service valued to be over $300 will be charged with a felony. This is punishable by no less than one year in prison. People who are charged with felony shoplifting can be penalized by being sentenced to one to 10 years in jail, as well as additional fines. This is a harsh penalty that you do not want. For this reason, it is critical to take the charges against you seriously and do everything that you can to fight them. The best way to fight felony shoplifting charges is by hiring an experienced Atlanta criminal defense attorney. They will work to get the charges against you dropped or reduced to a misdemeanor or negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution that allows you to avoid harsher penalties such as jail time. The sooner you consult with a criminal defense attorney, the sooner they will be able to start working on your case.
Contact Shoplifting Defense Lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam Today
If you are facing charges for shoplifting in Georgia, you need a dedicated criminal defense attorney on your side. We will fight to get the charges against you dropped and kicked out of court. Contact the Atlanta criminal defense attorneys at Ghanayem & Rayasam today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help.