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Is Jail Required for Shoplifting Charges?


Forsyth County, the City of Cumming, and surrounding cities all enforce either local ordinances or state laws that criminalize theft by shoplifting. If you are charged with a local ordinance for shoplifting, then you are facing up to a $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail. If you are charged with shoplifting under state law, 16-8-14, then you are technically facing up to 12 months in jail and the same $1,000 fine.

With this said, rarely do first offense shoplifting charges actually result in jail time. On a first time shoplifting case, you are usually taken to jail and processed and released on a bond. Other than this initial 3-4 hours in jail, you are not looking at going back to jail, absent unusual or aggravating circumstances. If you were not taken to jail, but simply given a citation, then you will likely be required to report to jail and make a bond. This is so your criminal record can be up-to-date and reflect the shoplifting charge.

While additional jail time is rare on first shoplifting cases, there are certainly things you can do to help your case, even before court. When I present my client's case to the prosecutor, I like to have a file complete with conditions my client has already completed, as well as other mitigating or helpful evidence.

If you have been charged with shoplifting in Cumming, Forsyth or surrounding areas, call me directly today to discuss defending your case in court. Whether the case is in Cumming Municipal or Forsyth State or Forsyth Magistrate Court, we are in these courts frequently and know your best defense. I can be reached at (770) 676-1340 or 24 hours a day.

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