Understanding Shoplifting Charges

In North Carolina, shoplifting is prosecuted as "larceny of goods", and this charge could come as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Usually, if the items taken are worth more than $1,000, then someone would be charged with a felony. Whatever type of theft charge you face though, this could mean a life with a criminal record, something that can haunt your every job and housing application, a record that can make things worse if you are ever faced with criminal charges again. If you have been charged with shoplifting, then you need to find the best Raleigh criminal defense lawyer you can to fight against a conviction and the following penalties:

If someone is convicted of a Class 3 misdemeanor shoplifting, then they could face one to ten days in jail for a first-time conviction. The sentence would be higher for someone with prior convictions. This charge could come for purposefully hiding merchandise or for changing out price tags. You could be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor if you have been charged a second time within three years of concealing merchandise inside a store or for changing price tags. This could entail up to 30 days in jail, but would likely be higher with a prior conviction. This shoplifting charge becomes a Class 1 misdemeanor if someone is charged of a third offense of this kind within 5 years, upping the sentence to one to 45 days, perhaps more.

If someone uses equipment (such as a lined bag) to counter antitheft devices, then they could face a Class H felony charge, punishable by four to 25 months in prison. This Class H felony charge could also be leveled against someone who tampered with antitheft devices, tacked on a fake price tag, or used the emergency exit to take merchandise worth at least $200.

Even if someone is sentenced to "only" one day in jail, the criminal record alone can inflict life-altering damage. If you face criminal charges, you need to act immediately to preserve your reputation and your future. When you need to fight against a conviction, contact an experienced Raleigh criminal defense lawyer who will be committed to protecting your full rights and your freedom. You can find this legal advocate at Hopper Law Firm, PLLC. Contact us today!

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