Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
Shoplifting Charges in Forsyth County
Under Georgia's theft by shoplifting law, the crime of shoplifting can be a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime committed. Georgia's code, Section 16-8-14, is the shoplifting statute that lays out how this crime is committed and the range of punishment for shoplifting charges.
In order to be guilty of shoplifting, you must have the intent of taking merchandise without paying for it, or with the intention to deprive the owner of the merchandise. Concealing or taking possession of merchandise (even while remaining in the store), altering a price tag on merchandise, transferring goods from one container to another, interchanging price tags, or wrongfully causing the amount you pay for merchandise to be less than the stated price are all ways to violate the shoplifting law. It is not necessary to have successfully taken goods and made it outside the confines of the store in order to commit the crime of shoplifting.
At Zeliff | Watson, we have over 25 years of experience in defending shoplifting and related theft cases. Through a proactive approach, we are able to work with our clients towards reaching the best outcome possible in defending shoplifting cases. For some, the prospect of incarceration can be devastating and it becomes vital, therefore, that a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney from our firm takes a hard-hitting approach to your defense.
Forsyth County Shoplifting Penalties
In Forsyth County, shoplifting items with a value of $500 or less is a misdemeanor crime. If the value exceeds $500, then your shoplifting charges will be considered felonies. Additionally, if you have a prior record for shoplifting, the punishments will increase. It is a minimum fine of $500 for a second offense, at least 30 days imprisonment for a 3rd offense. A fourth shoplifting conviction is a felony, carrying a one year minimum prison sentence that cannot be suspended, probated, or otherwise reduced. Prosecutors take shoplifting crimes seriously and your liberty is at stake if convicted of a shoplifting offense.
If you have been charged with a shoplifting crime, call us today to set up a time to speak about the defenses and possible programs available to you in resolving your charges. Depending on the court and your record, possibilities may range from a pretrial diversion program to securing a probated sentence.
To understand the possible defenses and programs available to you for a shoplifting crime, contact a shoplifting defense lawyer today.