Of all theft offenses, shoplifting is by far the most commonly committed theft crime in the state of Georgia. Shoplifting is the criminal act of intentionally taking or stealing objects or goods from a retail establishment without consent. People can also be charged with shoplifting if they purposely change or modify price tags, conceal merchandise, leave without paying a bill, or switch goods from one container to another. Understanding the nature of your charges, and the incriminating intent behind them is the job of an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer. Therefore, you should immediately seek a consultation with Attorney Judy Kim.
People who commit shoplifting will be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the stolen goods. If the value of the stolen goods or merchandise is $300 or less, it is considered a misdemeanor theft offense. A person will face felony shoplifting charges if the value of the stolen goods or merchandise is more than $300. A person will also be charged with felony shoplifting if the incident is his/her fourth shoplifting offense, even if the value of the stolen goods is less than $300. It is also a felony shoplifting offense to steal merchandise with a combined value of $100 from three different stores in the same county within seven days.
Penalties for Shoplifting
Regardless of whether you are charged with felony or misdemeanor shoplifting, you will be sentenced to community service, fines, and probation. In addition, you will also be required to pay restitution to the victim and attend a behavior workshop addressing shoplifting. If you are charged with felony shoplifting, you will be subjected to all these penalties plus time in jail or prison. Furthermore, depending on the quantity of stolen goods, the value of the stolen goods, and whether or not you have any prior shoplifting convictions on your record, the judge may enhance your penalties.
Defense Tactics for Theft Crimes
Many people assume that because shoplifting is not a serious crime like bank robbery or auto theft, they do not need to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent them in court. If you have been charged with shoplifting in Atlanta, it is to your great advantage to hire an experienced shoplifting defense lawyer to protect your best interest and represent you throughout the legal process. A skilled attorney like Judy Kim can negotiate with both the prosecution and the victim for a possible reduction or dismissal of your charges.
If the prosecution decides to move forward with the case, she can aggressively challenge their case, and present evidence that serves in your best interest. Furthermore, she can sit down with you to discuss your rights, explain your best options, and soothe your worries and concerns. If you have been arrested for shoplifting in Atlanta, do not put yourself at risk for criminal conviction. Atlanta shoplifting attorney Judy Kim can help you fight your charges and avoid a criminal conviction, so don’t wait to contact the firm today.