Shoplifting is a theft crime and because of that it can carry lifelong effects. What’s the difference between shoplifting and theft you might be asking? Theft crimes are considered “crimes of moral turpitude” which show dishonesty and can affect your future employment prospects. Often, what starts off as a juvenile prank ends up in an arrest for shoplifting charges. Common examples of shoplifting are:
Can the store owner/employee stop me?
Store owners and their employees have the right to stop and question suspected shoplifters. Generally employees may look in a suspected shoplifter’s bag, unless they saw the person put something into their bag or the item is in plain view. At that point, the owner/employee must make the decision to either keep the person there longer and question them more and wait for police to arrive, or let them leave.
Can I go to jail for theft?
Depending on the individual and facts of the case, punishment may include jail time, community service, fines, or restitution to the shop owner or business. Theft under $50 is a Class C Misdemeanor with no jail time. However, you should never just plead guilty to ANY theft crime. Give me a call and we can talk about your defense strategy. At the end of the day, no one wants or needs a theft charge on their record!