Whether you had a lapse of judgment and made a mistake, or you were wrongfully accused, being charged with shoplifting in Duluth is a serious situation.
After you’ve been arrested and charged with shoplifting, you have legal rights. One of the most important rights to keep in mind is the right to have an attorney. An experienced Duluth shoplifting lawyer can create a strong case on your behalf to either prove your innocence or have your charges reduced.
At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our lawyers have decades of combined experience representing members of the Duluth community who have been accused of committing a crime, including shoplifting. What’s more, our criminal defense team is led by Patrick McDonough, who was the youngest serving District Attorney in the state of Georgia. With that experience, our legal team knows how to counter the tactics used by prosecutors and get a favorable outcome for your case.
Working with our Duluth shoplifting lawyers means working with a team of attorneys who has the skills and experience to fight for your rights in and out of the courtroom. Call us today at 770-822-0900 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Georgia Law Says About Shoplifting
Shoplifting is taken seriously in Georgia. Just because you didn’t walk out of a store with an unpaid-for item in your pocket doesn’t mean you didn’t shoplift. According to O.C.G.A. § 16-8-14, theft by shoplifting includes:
- Concealing or taking possession of merchandise at a store without paying for it
- Altering the price tag to pay a lower price
- Moving merchandise from one container to another
- Swapping price tags
- Otherwise causing the amount you pay for merchandise to be lower than what the retailers set the price at
Penalties for Shoplifting in Duluth
The punishment for different forms of shoplifting is detailed under that same statute. According to this statute, the punishment you face if convicted may vary depending on the circumstances of the crime.
Shoplifting Items Worth Less Than $500 Total
For a first offense in which the worth of the shoplifted items is $500 or less, the charge is a misdemeanor. This means a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to a year in jail. For a second offense of the same value, it is still considered a misdemeanor. However, there is a minimum fine of $500 (maximum $1,000) and/or up to a year in jail.
A third offense of this type is still a misdemeanor. However, in addition to fines up to $1,000, there is a minimum of 30 days in prison (up to a year), OR 120 days confinement in a “special alternative incarceration-probation boot camp,” probation detention center, or other community correctional facility of the Department of Corrections.
Fourth and subsequent offenses are considered felonies, requiring jail time of no less than one year and no more than 10 years.
Other Felony Offenses
Stealing items with a total value under $500 is the most common form of shoplifting. However, if you are convicted of shoplifting items with a combined value above $500, it is considered a felony. This comes with fines at the court’s discretion, and/or imprisonment of no less than one year and no more than 10 years.
The same punishment is in place for being convicted of shoplifting from three different retail establishments within one county and within one week, when the property stolen in each incident exceeds $500 in total value.
How a Duluth Shoplifting Lawyer Can Help You
Being charged with shoplifting in Georgia is a serious situation. A conviction may mean difficulty finding a good job, being unable to find a satisfactory living situation, and more — especially if you are convicted of felony theft by shoplifting. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a Duluth shoplifting attorney as soon as you are arrested.
At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our criminal defense team knows how the local court system works, and we know the prosecutors as well. As such, we can build a strong case that will work in the local courts, and we may be able to negotiate a favorable deal with the prosecutors and end your case more quickly.
Don’t face your criminal charges alone. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Duluth shoplifting lawyer today by calling 770-822-0900 or by using our convenient online form.