Theft by Shoplifting Defense

In Coweta County, there are dozens and dozens of shoplifting arrests every single year. Some of these cases are prosecuted in the municipal courts, like Newnan Municipal Court or Grantville Municipal Court. Others are prosecuted on the county level, whether it be in Coweta State Court or even in some cases in Coweta Superior Court.

Shoplifting can range in severity to a city ordinance violation to a felony charge. In addition, because shoplifting requires the act of stealing it is considered a crime of moral turpitude and can have a substantial negative impact on your immigration status.

What does it Mean to Shoplift in Georgia?

Georgia Law - O.C.G.A. § 16-8-14

A person commits the offense of theft by shoplifting when such person alone or in concert with another person, with the intent of appropriating merchandise to his or her own use without paying for the same or to deprive the owner of possession thereof or of the value thereof, in whole or in part, does any of the following:

(1) Conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;
(2) Alters the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;
(3) Transfers the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment from one container to another;
(4) Interchanges the label or price tag from one item of merchandise with a label or price tag for another item of merchandise; or
(5) Wrongfully causes the amount paid to be less than the merchant's stated price for the merchandise.
 

So, What does that Mean?

Shoplifting can be committed in five different ways. The first is the most common and what you likely think of when you think of shoplifting. It requires that someone takes possession of or hide things from a store intending to take it from the owner. It is important to note here that it is not required that you actually make it out of the store. 

The second scenario involves altering a price tag. Perhaps putting a discount sticker on the item and then checking out, or something like that. 

Third, if you move merchandise from one container to another. For instance, if you put expensive shoes into a shoebox that was holding cheap shoes and then check out for the cheaper price, then you could be charged with shoplifting. 

The next way to commit shoplifting is to switch price tags on merchandise. So, for instance, if you attach a price tag for a cheaper item onto the item for which you would like to buy and then pay the reduced price you could be charged with shoplifting. 

Finally, the Georgia statute has sort of a "catch-all" clause that states anyone can be charged with shoplifting if they "wrongfully cause the amount to be paid less than the merchant's stated price for the merchandise." Essentially if you get a lower price by some "wrong" action then you can be charged. 

Penalties for Shoplifting in Georgia

Generally, if the value of the property taken was $500 or less then the accused is only facing misdemeanor charges. Upon a second conviction, however, the minimum fine is $500. 

If someone is convicted of shoplifting for the third time, then the accused is facing some sort of more serious punishment. It may be time in jail, time in the probation detention center, or on house arrest. 

Upon a fourth conviction, the accused faces a minimum of one year in prison. 

Contact Us

If you have been charged with theft by shoplifting gives us a call today and let us get started working on your defense. Contact Us.

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Ryan Brown is ready to begin defending you and your rights today. The best defense is one that begins as early as possible. Prosecutors don't take days off and neither should you. Let us get started. Call today for a free consultation.

Serving the Following Areas

Ryan Brown represents clients throughout the state. He primarily serves the following counties: Coweta, Carroll, Heard, Meriwether, Troup, Douglas, Haralson, Cobb, Paulding, Floyd, Fayette, Henry, Macon-Bibb, Fulton, Muscogee, Monroe, Polk, Spalding, Pike, Lamar, Upson, Butts, Walton, Newton, and Rockdale.

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This website if for general informational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice. Each situation, case, and legal matter is unique and requires custom legal advice. Nothing communicated on this website or through this website constitutes an attorney-client privilege.

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