Shoplifting is rarely a well thought out plan, it is an impulse that almost everyone immediately regrets. Not that other crimes are a good idea, but that when you shoplift you stand to lose a lot more than you gain if you are caught. That $50 outfit or that $200 watch could land you in jail for several months, hardly worth the short term satisfaction of getting something for nothing. But, when you do shoplift and you do get caught, a criminal defense lawyer will be there to help you through the courts and work towards getting you the best results possible.
Getting caught shoplifting is a humbling experience. This is especially true when you are an adult. People have the misconception that shoplifting is a teenager’s crime, one that’s done purely as a thrill. But this isn’t always the case.
Defense lawyers see countless cases of adults who really didn’t have to steal getting caught shoplifting from retailers. Occasionally, a suspect believes they didn’t have a choice in the matter, perhaps stealing diapers or formula, but unfortunately this doesn’t mean you won’t be held accountable. A local attorney can be critical in helping you navigate Georgia shoplifting laws, and find your way past this unfortunate incident, and get on with your life – with as little impact as possible.
Georgia Shoplifting Laws And Penalties
Whether you conceal merchandise in your purse or bag, or if you change the price on an item, you could face shoplifting charges in Georgia. The penalty you face depends on the value of the goods that were taken.
If you are accused of taking goods that are valued at less than $300, you will face misdemeanor charges which carry up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
However, if the value is greater than $300, you will face a felony shoplifting charge. Felony shoplifting carries up to 10 years in prison and fines, not to mention the lifelong stigma of being labeled a convicted felon.
Georgia’s “Smash and Grab” Law
In Georgia there is a unique law related to shoplifting. It is applied when you smash any window, display case, or similar structure in order to take something of value from an establishment. This could be the jewelry case at a department store or the window out in front. If more than $500 in damage occurs you will face a mandatory minimum two year prison sentence.
Georgia is serious about penalizing thieves. And shoplifting is considered a theft. If you are accused of taking something of value from a retail store, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney on your side.
A criminal defense attorney can help ensure your rights are protected and work to get you the most positive results possible on your day in court. Contact us to speak with a Georgia shoplifting attorney today.