Shoplifting, larceny or pilfering are all legal terms that describe the act of permanently removing or depriving someone else of their property. Shoplifting can be charged as felony or a misdemeanor.
Penalties for misdemeanor shoplifting can be up to one year in jail, and fines from $50 to $500 or double the value of the items stolen. Felony shoplifting can carry up to a five year jail sentence and fines of up to $5000.
The value of the stolen good dictates the degree of the crime that has been committed. Other factors would include where it was stolen from, if this is repeated behavior, and the age of the accused. A second charge of shoplifting can be charged as a felony as well as shoplifting items valued over $100.
There are many complexities to shoplifting laws since the circumstances of the crime are all taken into consideration. At Moretti Perlow & Bonin we have represented both misdemeanor and felony shoplifting charges, there are a number of defenses that can be employed depending on the specifics of your unique situation. There are arguments we can present that would allow the court to drop or reduce the charges as well, depending on the evidence the prosecution has.