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Cobb County Criminal Defense Lawyer / Marietta Shoplifting Lawyer

Marietta Shoplifting Lawyer

Of all the criminal offenses one could be charged with, shoplifting is by far one of the most common. Contrary to what many people think, it is also not a minor or victimless crime. Shoplifting is very serious and it entails much more than just simply stealing from a retailer or other merchant. A conviction for shoplifting will also appear on your permanent criminal record, which can make life very difficult. This is especially true for young people who have their whole life in front of them. Below, our Marietta shoplifting lawyer explains more about this crime.

What Constitutes Shoplifting in Marietta?

Most people are aware that taking merchandise from a store and leaving without paying for it constitutes shoplifting in Marietta. However, there are other actions that could result in shoplifting charges being laid. These include:

  • Removing tags from merchandise
  • Switching tags on merchandise to pay a reduced price
  • Concealing or hiding merchandise, even if the offender does not leave the property with it
  • Removing devices intended to detect theft

Penalties for Shoplifting

Many people think the penalties associated with shoplifting are not serious, but that is not true. The sentences for shoplifting vary depending on the value of the merchandise in question.

Stealing property worth $300 or less is generally considered a misdemeanor while anything over that value is classified as a felony. If charged with a felony, sentences of anywhere between one and ten years are possible. The theft of items valued at $100 from three stores in the same county and within a seven-day period is also classified as a felony.

A second conviction for either a misdemeanor or felony shoplifting charge will result in an additional fine of $250. Being convicted of shoplifting a third time will result in a mandatory 30 days in jail or 120 days of house arrest. A psychological evaluation with corresponding treatment may also be ordered. When it is, the defendant bears the responsibility to pay for the treatment and the sentence cannot be probated or suspended.

In addition to the criminal penalties associated with shoplifting, there are civil consequences, as well. The law on shoplifting in Georgia also allows property owners to file a civil claim against the alleged offender. Through a civil lawsuit, property owners can pursue compensatory damages for any loss they incurred as a result of the theft. Merchants can also pursue punitive damages of $300 or triple the value of loss, whichever is greater. When these damages are not paid within 30 days, merchants can also pursue their attorney fees and legal costs, as well.

Our Shoplifting Lawyer in Marietta Can Defend Against Your Charges

If you or someone you love has been charged with shoplifting, do not try to handle the case on your own. At the law firm of Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C., our Marietta shoplifting lawyer knows how to defend against these charges to give you and your family the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us now at (678) 853-2500 or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case.

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