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What are the Penalties for Shoplifting?

What are the Penalties for Shoplifting?

In Southern California, shoplifting is a criminal offense associated with serious penalties, including jail time and fines. Furthermore, shoplifters can be sued by merchants in civil court to recover damages. If you were recently arrested and charged with shoplifting, it is important to hire a lawyer to protect your rights and future.

An individual commits the theft crime of shoplifting when he or her – with the intent of appropriating goods or merchandise to his or her own use without paying or to deprive the owner of possession – does any of the following:

  1. Conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any retail store or establishment
  2. Alters the price tag or other price markings on goods or merchandise of any retail store or establishment
  3. Interchanges the label or price tag from one product with a label or price tag of another item
  4. Transfers the goods or merchandise of any retail store or establishment from one container to another
  5. Alters, bypasses, disables, removes, or shields any security or alarm device attached to or housing any goods or merchandise of any store
  6. Causes the cash register or other sales recording device to reflect less than the retail price of the goods or merchandise

Shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor according to California law, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of six months and a fine of up to $1,000. However, if an offender has certain serious prior convictions on their record, then the theft crime may be punished as a felony. These serious prior convictions include homicide, forcible sex crimes, and any crime that requires you to register as a sex offender.

With more than 30 years of experience, Tedford & Associates understands what it takes to either get the charges against you reduced or have your case dismissed entirely. Our Pasadena criminal defense attorney can investigate your arrest, collect evidence, and develop an effective defense strategy to obtain the most favorable results possible.

Contact us and request an initial consultation immediately.


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