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Cherokee and Cobb County Shoplifting Defense Attorneys

Cherokee County Shoplifting Penalties

Many teens and young adults may believe getting caught for shoplifting will not be a big deal. In reality, you face penalties that could include jail time and fines, even for a misdemeanor charge. Additionally, having a permanent criminal record impacts your future choices for college, housing, and employment.

At the Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm, our team understands that everyone makes mistakes and believes you deserve the best possible chance at moving forward from the situation. Cherokee County shoplifting penalties can be harsh. Let our trusted defense attorneys help you to keep one mistake from defining your future.

What Constitutes Shoplifting in Georgia?

Shoplifting is a theft crime in Georgia. Most people think of it as concealing an item and taking it from a store without paying, but the laws are broader. Other situations in which prosecutors can bring charges include:

  • Altering price tags
  • Removing theft-detection plastic tags
  • Changing tags with a lower-priced item
  • Failing to include all items at a self-checkout
  • Consuming food items in the store without paying for them
  • Concealing merchandise and being caught before leaving the premises
  • Removing store tags to imply the merchandise belongs to the person

Shoplifting can be a felony if the merchandise is valued at more than $500. The retail price determines value. Felonies can also be charged if several shoplifting incidents have an accrued value of more than $500 over six months. Our Cherokee County team can review the alleged act and the evidence against you to work with you on mitigating the impact of potential shoplifting penalties or refuting the charges.

What Georgia Law Says About Shoplifting Penalties

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-8-14 lists the penalties for shoplifting in Cherokee County. Felony shoplifting is punishable by imprisonment at the judge’s discretion and will depend on the circumstances surrounding the event, including the value of the items in question and whether the act is a first-time or recurrent offense.

First-Time Offense

For a first-time offense, when the property is $500 or less in value, the act is considered a misdemeanor and carries a potential jail term of up to twelve months and one thousand dollars in fines. If the value of the property is over $500, this constitutes a felony that can carry up to ten years of jail time.

Second Offense

With a second shoplifting conviction or nolo contendere plea, the charge is still considered a misdemeanor for items valued less than $500, but has a minimum fine of $500 in addition to potential jail time.

Third Offenses

With all other subsequent shoplifting convictions, the judge shall impose a mandatory minimum 30-day sentence of incarceration. Alternatively, the judge can send a young offender to a special boot camp for 120 days or order monitored house arrest.

In addition to confinement, the defendant may be ordered to participate in and personally pay for psychological evaluation and treatment. The judge cannot suspend, probate, or defer any ordered imprisonment or confinement.

Fourth or Subsequent Offenses

With three prior shoplifting convictions, the fourth or subsequent conviction will always be a felony, regardless of the value of the item alleged to be stolen.  This carries a one to ten-year sentence, where the first year must be served in custody and cannot be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld unless it is by agreement of the prosecuting attorney and the defendant.

Let Our Cherokee County Team Help You Understand Shoplifting Penalties

Cherokee County shoplifting penalties should be taken seriously. Any conviction for this type of offense will remain on a young person’s criminal record and may negatively affect their future. That is where we can help. When you have been charged or arrested for shoplifting, or you are the parent of a teen or young adult who has, schedule a meeting with our team to learn about your options for moving forward and to discover whether working together is the right fit for everyone.

Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm

Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm N/a
3227 S Cherokee Ln,Suite 1360
GA 30188
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(770) 720-6336