While the popular definition of shoplifting is usually theft by concealing goods, the term can mean a number of different things. It is important to know the scope of the Georgia law to avoid any confusion surrounding the crime.
Here in Georgia, the following are considered shoplifting:
- Concealing or taking goods
- Altering the price tag
- Transferring an object to a different container
- Switching the price tag
- Wrongfully paying less that the merchant's stated price
Under Georgia law, if the property stolen totals less than $500, the offense is considered a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor could mean up to a year in jail and fines up to $1,000. However, if the property stolen amounts to more than $500, you face a sentence up to ten years, and a felony charge. Any aggravation during the theft can also contribute to the consequences of the crime.
Under Georgia Law, Section 16-8-14, to Be Found Guilty of Shoplifting the Prosecution Must Prove:
- A. you had the intention of taking merchandise without paying for it, or
- B. you had the intention of depriving the owner of the merchandise
After three or more previous shoplifting convictions, the crime will be considered a felony regardless of the value of the goods stolen. Georgia also has a special "Smash and Grab" Law, for which the minimum sentence is increased to two years.
Contact the Sherman Law Group for Trusted Counsel
If you find yourself facing a shoplifting charge, call The Sherman Law Group. Our experienced Roswell theft defense attorneys can help you plan your defense and explore your options to reduce consequences of a shoplifting charge.
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