Are You Looking for a Boston Shoplifting Attorney?
Have you been accused of shoplifting?
Every year in the U.S., over $13 billion worth of merchandise is shoplifted. In the past five years, over 10 million people have been shown to shoplift, however, this is only representative of those who have been caught. It is estimated that one in eleven people in the country have shoplifted at one point during their lifetime.
Some people may think of shoplifting as taking an item from a store without paying for it, but you can be charged with shoplifting for many different behaviors. Changing labels on items, switching price tags or writing fake checks can also get you a shoplifting charge. Under Massachusetts Law §266.30A (2011), shoplifting is defined as intentionally taking any store merchandise and thus depriving the merchant of their possession. It also states that law enforcement is authorized to make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe that the individual was guilty of shoplifting.
One aspect of shoplifting which consumers may be unaware of is the fact that it is illegal to remove a shopping cart from a store without permission. When this is a first offense, the individual could be fined up to $250. However, if an individual has prior offenses or the goods are valued at a substantial price, defendants can face more severe penalties.
Shoplifting Charges & Penalties
There are two categories of shoplifting – petty theft and grand theft, and your charges can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. The degree of your charge will depend on what was taken and how much it was worth. For items worth less than $100, you will have to pay up to $250 in fines. For property worth more than $100, you could face up to two and a half years in jail and a $1,000 fine.