Charged with shoplifting on Tybee Island
Shoplifting is considered the number one property crime in America, and we’re no different here on Tybee Island. It is the most commonly prosecuted theft crime in Georgia and affects individuals from all walks of life.
Georgia law defines shoplifting as theft committed with intent to take merchandise without paying for it by:
- Concealing or taking possession of merchandise
- Altering price tags
- Transferring merchandise from one container to another
- Interchanging labels or price tags
- Wrongly causing the amount paid to be less than the amount stated
Regardless of the “what,” shoplifting is a serious criminal offence and carries severe penalties. It’s pertinent to contact a lawyer right away if you’ve been charged with shoplifting; the intricacies of these cases take time and a professional eye to be able to navigate.
In order to be guilty of shoplifting, you have to have the “intent” of taking merchandise without paying for it. It’s not necessary that you make it out of the store with the merchandise to be charged with shoplifting if the intent is there.
Shoplifting is broken down into two categories: petty theft and grand theft. Petty theft almost always results in a misdemeanor, whereas grand theft is more serious because it deals with a large amount of money or items worth a great deal. Being convicted of grand theft is almost certainly a felony on your record.
Both petty theft and grand theft convictions can mean jail time, probation, community service, fines and probably restitution. Penalties are usually based on the value of the merchandise and any prior criminal record you might have. First offense convictions may be prosecuted as misdemeanors if the merchandise isn’t valued at more than $300. But if it’s a second, third or fourth conviction, the penalties are much higher and you could be facing jail time and a felony.
But don’t base your decision off of these facts. There are a number of unique circumstances in your case that will affect any potential charges and penalties, which is why an attorney is the best decision you could make.
Contact Savanah Defense today at 912-472-4285 for a consultation.