Trusted Attorney Providing Knowledgeable And Dedicated Representation

Attorney Christopher T. Adams

Trusted Attorney Providing Knowledgeable And Dedicated Representation

How Serious Are The Consequences For Shoplifting In Georgia?

Many people perceive shoplifting as a minor offense. Many people, parents included, even chalk this crime up to adolescent shenanigans. However, the state of Georgia and the victims of shoplifters disagree with this perception. As a criminal defense firm, we’ve seen just how aggressively they pursue prosecution.

However, we believe that one mistake shouldn’t ruin a person’s life, even illegal mistakes. We fight particularly hard for our younger clients who have a lot to lose. Part of defending these personal rights includes educating the people of Georgia on the consequences they could face from a criminal charge like shoplifting.

Punishments for theft

Georgia law defines shoplifting as taking merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it. Offenders may face a misdemeanor or a felony charge, dependent upon the value of the stolen goods and any past offenses. However, do not take your guard down: even a misdemeanor can heavily impact a person’s life.

If this is your first shoplifting offense and you stole items with a value less than $500, you will likely face misdemeanor charges. If convicted, the penalties include:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines and fees of up to $1,000

A second misdemeanor shoplifting charge will net you another year in jail and $1,500 in fines. Penalties increase with the third charge:

  • A minimum 30 days in jail or 120 days on house arrest or correctional program
  • Psychology counseling at the offender’s expense

Additional shoplifting charges will incur up to 10 years in prison. Offenders will face felony charges if the total value of items stolen exceeds $500, even when accrued over multiple crimes.

Protecting young people from their mistakes

A criminal conviction can adversely impact a young person’s entire life. Landlords might refuse to rent to those with records, banks can deny loans and many companies have policies that prevent hiring former criminals. However, a strong defense from a lawyer experienced in protecting the accused’s reputation can help people recover from mistakes made in their youth.


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