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Shopping can be a fun activity or a hated chore, but most people end up shopping at some point. When a trip to the store comes with an accusation, shopping takes on a whole different dimension. If a merchant has accused you or a loved one of shoplifting, it may be in your best interest to reach out to a seasoned attorney to see how they could help you.

Shoplifting is a serious crime in the state of Alabama. The government will often prosecute people caught shoplifting to the fullest extent of the law in order to deter other people from engaging in the act of theft. When a merchant or shopkeeper catches someone they believe stole something, they must hold the person accused in a reasonable matter.

If you are facing charges, do not face them alone. Considering speaking with a Lawrence county shoplifting lawyer who may be able to advise you of your rights and help you build a strong defense.

Shoplifting Laws in Lawrence County

The Alabama legislature has not made a separate category of crime for shoplifting. In the Alabama Code, the government punishes shoplifting under the theft laws. There are four degrees of theft: first, second, third and fourth.

Fourth-degree theft is the theft of property worth no more than $500. The court can punish fourth-degree theft as a Class A Misdemeanor (Code of Alabama 13A-8-5). Third-degree theft is the theft of property worth more than $500, but not more than $1,499. The court can punish third-degree theft as a Class D Felony (Code of Alabama 13A-8-4.1).

Second-degree theft is the theft of property worth at least $1,500 and up to $2,500. It also includes the theft of firearms, regardless of value. The court can punish second-degree theft as a Class C Felony (Code of Alabama 13A-8-4).

First-degree theft is the theft of property worth more than $2,500. If a shoplifter has a plan to engage in the theft with at least one other person, plans to sell the stolen goods or steals at least $1,000 worth of items within a 180-day period, that is also first-degree theft. The court can punish first-degree theft as a Class B Felony (Code of Alabama 13A-8-3).

Punishment for Shoplifting

The court can punish acts of shoplifting in the following manners:

  • Fourth-degree theft – jail for not more than one year and a fine of not more than $6,000
  • Third-degree theft – one year and a day up to five years in jail and a fine of not more than $7,500
  • Second-degree theft – one year and a day, up to ten years in jail and a fine of not more than $15,000
  • First-degree theft – two to 20 years in jail and a fine of not more than $30,000

Because these offenses can result in heavy fines and jail time, someone accused of shoplifting should contact a qualified attorney. A Lawrence County shoplifting lawyer could stand by the defendant and help defend them from aggressive prosecutors.

Speak with a Lawrence County Shoplifting Attorney

In Alabama, shoplifting is the same as the crime of theft. If the police have accused you of shoplifting, you may want to protect yourself from the possible ramifications of imprisonment, fines, and civil penalties.

An attorney may be able to work with you to build the best defenses and plan a solid strategy to minimize or even avoid the possible consequences related to a shoplifting charge. Reach out to a Lawrence county shoplifting lawyer today.