Shoplifting can be seen as a serious crime in Lawrenceville, Georgia, especially if you have incurred multiple offenses. You can find yourself accused of shoplifting as a result of a misunderstanding or a mistake. Your shoplifting charges may also be brought against you despite the fact that the arresting officer or prosecutor failed to follow due process.
In any event, you reserve the right to defend yourself against shoplifting by theft charges, and you can do so with the help of a Lawrenceville shoplifting lawyer. Your attorney can provide advice and make you aware of your legal options for seeking the optimal outcome. Some cases can result in charges getting dropped or exoneration through the courts. Other cases must rely on plea bargains or technicalities of the legal process to have the charges reduced or the sentencing made more lenient.
Finding a Reputable Shoplifting Attorney in Lawrenceville
Andersen, Tate & Carr has attorneys experienced with the legal process courts use to prosecute shoplifting charges and evaluate the likelihood of those charges being true based on evidence. One of our attorneys is even a former district attorney, giving us familiarity with the mindset of the prosecution and the legal strategies they employ. The heads of our criminal defense attorney team are AV Rated Preeminent, have 10/10 Avvo scores, and have attained Super Lawyers accolades.
You can work with a Lawrenceville shoplifting attorney who wants to keep you informed of your legal options and help you determine the optimal strategy given your unique circumstances. Start discussing your case during a free, no-obligation consultation when you call (770) 822-0900 or contact us online today.
Shoplifting Charges Don’t Just Mean Traditional Theft
Shoplifting has many broad definitions in Georgia, which can lead to confusion for those facing charges. Georgia’s shoplifting laws (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-14) outline several situations that define shoplifting in the state:
- Concealing or taking possession of items owned by a store or retailer unlawfully and without paying for them (traditional shoplifting)
- Tampering with or altering the price tag of an item
- Transferring goods from their original packaging to a different item
- Swapping price tags or pricing devices, such as “Clearance” tags
Because of these laws, someone may face shoplifting charges they did not expect or that stem from a misunderstanding. Those charged with shoplifting also have legal rights to due process and a fair trial, including the right to bargain with prosecutors or plead for leniency from judges.
Penalties for Shoplifting in Lawrenceville, Georgia
The extent of possible penalties you face is affected by the dollar value of the item you allegedly shoplifted as well as the number of prior offenses you have been convicted of in the 10 year look back period.
- Shoplifting items with a combined value of $500 or less will result in misdemeanor charges, which can include penalty fines up to $1,000 and up to a 12-month sentence in county jail.
- Second offenses lead to a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a higher likelihood of stiffer misdemeanor penalties.
- Third offenses will result in a minimum imprisonment period of 30 days or 120 days in an alternative facility
- Fourth offenses will lead to felony charges, with a minimum prison sentence of 1 year but no greater than 10 years
- Shoplifting items with a combined value greater than $500 will result in felony charges with at least 1 year of jail time but no more than 10 years
- Going on a shoplifting “spree” is a felony and is defined as shoplifting from 3 or more locations in the same county within a 7 day period
The possibility of obtaining a felony charge because of multiple convictions or a high item value illustrates the importance of working to defend your rights and attempt to lessen the charges, if at all possible.
How a Lawrenceville Shoplifting Attorney Protects Your Rights
Every shoplifting case is different and will present different opportunities for defensive strategies.
In some cases, your charges will be the result of an inaccurate view of events or an incomplete set of facts. Other times, your charges are the result of improper due process, which can make certain evidence inadmissible or result in the charges being dropped altogether.
Some cases can benefit from determining a strategy for making an appropriate plea bargain or attempting to convince prosecutors that lesser charges are warranted given the circumstances. Certain judges may be willing to grant leniency through sentencing, helping those convicted avoid extended jail time or large fines.
In the event that your charges must be defended against through a not guilty plea, your Lawrenceville shoplifting lawyer may use every viable legal strategy available to dispute the given evidence, point to errors in due process, weaken the prosecutor’s case, or present contrary evidence that aids in exonerating the accused.
Again, not every case makes all of these options available, but your shoplifting lawyer in Lawrenceville will use all of their knowledge, resources, and expert opinions to help you seek the optimal outcome for your own circumstances.
Find out what your best options might be and what you can expect regarding the process of your shoplifting charges and trial during a free, no-obligation consultation. Schedule your free shoplifting case review when you call (770) 822-0900 or contact us online now.