If you or a family member has been charged with shoplifting, even if the item was relatively inexpensive, do not take it lightly and always get the advice of a criminal defense attorney. Shoplifting is theft and charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on what was stolen. The consequences, fines and punishment will also vary depending on the circumstances of the case. If you have been convicted of shoplifting before, a prior conviction increases the likelihood of a more severe sentence.
Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney Protecting Your Future
You can be charged with shoplifting for taking goods or merchandise from a business without paying for it or any action that causes you to pay less than the actual price. Examples include altering a price tag, interchanging a price tag from one item to another, transferring higher priced goods or merchandise from one container to another container that is lower priced, for wrongfully causing the price paid to be less than the merchant’s stated price, and eating at a restaurant and leaving without paying the bill. Additionally you may be charged with shoplifting for being in the company of another individual who is shoplifting.
In Georgia being convicted of shoplifting goods or merchandise whose value is $300 or less receives a misdemeanor punishment unless there is a prior conviction for either misdemeanor or felony theft. It is a felony for shoplifting Items whose value is in excess of $300. Punishments for a shoplifting conviction can range from community service and/or fines, restitution, and imprisonment. The judge in a shoplifting case usually decides the punishment and he takes into consideration things like whether or not this is your first offense, your age, and the value of the item any any other possible mitigating circumstances.
Being convicted of shoplifting, even of an inexpensive item, will result in a criminal record and having this on your record can make your life more difficult in the future in regards to employment, your ability to secure certain professional licenses, and educational opportunities. Criminal records are open to the public and a potential boss or institution of higher learning conducting a background check can see your record
It is Possible to Get Shoplifting Charges Dropped, Reduced, Sealed & Expunged in Georgia
If you have been accused of shoplifting, especially if this is your first offense, get the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Cobb & Fulton counties right away. He may be able to get the shoplifting charge reduced to an “infraction” which will require payment of a fine, but keep the incident off your record. For juveniles (those under 18) your criminal defense attorney may be able to get a shoplifting record sealed or expunged and help protect future employment and educational opportunities.
Some other factors which can impact your defense include whether the store violated any of your rights, initiated a false arrest, assaulted you, injured you, or defamed your character. Your Atlanta shoplifting attorney is knowledgeable about all the mitigating circumstances and how they can affect your case. He will work with you and the legal system to get you the best possible outcome.
East Point & Vinings Shoplifting & Criminal Defense Attorney
Contact East Point & Vinings criminal defense attorney Joel Baskin if you or a family member has been accused or charged with shoplifting. With over 20 years of helping people in the Atlanta area, let Joel review your case and inform you about what consequences you are facing and what actions may be taken to help resolve your case with the best outcome possible.
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