Is Shoplifting Misdemeanor?

When it comes to shoplifting, we usually thinks of shoplifting as misdemeanor. It is also a criminal offense though regulated by the State Penal Code. If a person deliberately removes goods from a store, he may be accused of shoplifting. The security service will first detain the suspect and, after detecting the theft and completing interrogation, call the police. Police officers, in turn, act according to protocol. Having misdemeanor for shoplifting in most cases, such as act still might have criminal consequences.

"Support" from store employees
In times of financial crisis, shoplifting is a common thing. Store owners do their best to protect their business from losses. Owners that are more successful buy high-quality anti-theft systems, security cameras and have a large staff to work with customers. But less successful owners cannot afford it, especially if the business is only in the development stage. Therefore, the majority suffer from shoplifting, moreover, not only from outside shoplifters, but also employees working for the shop. In some cases, shoplifting of employees may even exceed the "work" of thieves from the external environment.

From misdemeanor to serious crime
The penalty for theft depends on the value of the stolen item. Of course, stealing expensive items is more serious. But even if less expensive items are taken out, the store owner can bring criminal charges against the thief. Theft charges range from misdemeanor to felony. When a criminal is caught shoplifting, in most cases he is accused of a petty crime. When the case goes to court, the judge can qualify the case as a criminal offense taking into account all the details of the particular case. Inexpensive items are usually reimbursed with a fine; valuable items can cost a criminal a place in a jail.

Contacting a criminal lawyer
In the event of being arrested on charges of petty theft, the accused is advised to consult with a criminal lawyer. Often, the accused make the mistake of expecting to be able to defend themselves in court. It is better to leave the matter in the hands of an experienced specialist. Theft laws have their own specifics; moreover, the same violation has different penalties depending on the state. In case of contacting a lawyer, he can help to achieve an informal decision. Perhaps the store owner will not put in a claim and the case can be resolved on the spot. It is enough to pay the amount of the stolen solutions. In more complex cases, an experienced lawyer will defend the interests of the accused in court.

Shoplifting sentencing
The percentage of losses from shoplifting is increasing every year. Therefore, shopkeepers try to bring to justice most of the thieves caught in order to rectify the situation. Shoplifting may seem like a frivolous thing to do, but there are a lot of details to consider. The maximum sentencing for shoplifting depends on the value of the stolen goods and has the following numbers:
• If the value of the stolen goods is up to $ 500, the maximum penalty is 3 months in prison
• If the value of the stolen goods is between $ 500 and $ 1000, the maximum penalty is 1 year in prison
• If the value of the stolen goods is more than $ 1000, the maximum penalty is 7 years in prison

The first arrest in theft
In the case of the first offense, the police often issue a formal warning without charges. For the second offense, the defendant will already be charged in most cases. The scheme of “diversion” can be used here. The offender must admit the offense and may be expelled from the judicial system and avoid a criminal record. However, such decisions are best made with the help of a lawyer. There are cases when an admission of guilt should be used only after excluding all other possible options. If the perpetrator was previously convicted of shoplifting, longer and more severe sentencing for shoplifting should be expected.

Misdemeanor for shoplifting for minors
If the perpetrator is under 14 years old, he cannot be charged with theft. In this case, the child protection law is in force, not the criminal justice system. If the perpetrator is between 14 and 17 years old, he may be charged with theft. Often in such cases, police officers issue a warning. If a minor is accused, the juvenile court starts the case. And yet, the main task is not the punishment of minors, but reeducation. If the perpetrator is 18 or older, the case will take a very different turn.
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