The basis of a shoplifting charge in Georgia is to take possession of the merchandise without paying for it or by otherwise depriving the owner of the possession or value of their merchandise. Shoplifting can be committed individually or by a group of people working together. Specific examples of shoplifting that are addressed in the shoplifting statute are:
To conceal or take possession of merchandise
To alter the price tag of the merchandise
To transfer the merchandise from one container to another
To swap or change price tags on merchandise
Wrongfully cause the amount paid to be less than the stated price
The punishment for shoplifting depends on the value of the goods. If the shoplifting charge is for less than $500.00, the charge is usually a misdemeanor but it depends upon your criminal history. If the shoplifting charge is for more than $500.00 then the charge is a felony. However, the shoplifting statute has its own recidivist provisions. This means that for each shoplifting charge after the first, the punishment required by law gets worse. If you have enough shoplifting convictions on your record, you could shoplift something with a value as low as one dollar or less and it would be considered a felony shoplifting charge. You can also be charged with felony shoplifting if you go on a shoplifting spree during a certain amount of time.
If you have been charged with shoplifting in Forsyth County or any surrounding area, you need to discuss your shoplifting case with the experienced defense attorneys at Patterson Moore Butler. The experienced criminal defense team at Patterson Moore Butler consists of former prosecutors that will develop the best focused defense strategy to your shoplifting case.