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How Serious is Shoplifting?

Woman stealing shoes by putting them in her purse

Some may feel that shoplifting is no big deal. However, it’s a crime that costs retailers millions each year. Not only that, but those accused of this crime could face serious consequences.

Are you facing a shoplifting charge? You will need an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting for you. Contact The Law Offices of Jason D. Baltz right away so we can start working on your case.

Cost of Shoplifting

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than $61 billion was lost due to retail “shrink” (theft, fraud, and losses) in 2019. This was a more than $11 billion increase from the previous year. The NRF noted that this increase coincides with many states choosing to amend laws to increase the dollar threshold of a stolen item to be considered a felony.

Consequences for Shoplifting

Depending on the worth of the stolen property will determine the possible punishment for the accused.

If the property taken was valued at less than $100, the suspect will most likely be ticketed and receive a fine. The accused will most likely not face a criminal charge if they are only ticketed.

Those accused of taking merchandise with a value of more than $100 will most likely face a more severe punishment:

  • Class A misdemeanor — this is the highest level misdemeanor and possible punishment for someone convicted of taking items valued between $100-$2,500. A Class A misdemeanor carries a punishment of up to nine months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Class I felony — those convicted of taking merchandise valued between $2,500-$5,000 will be charged with a Class I felony. This punishment also has a fine of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to three-and-a-half years.
  • Class H felony — items taken worth between $5,000-$10,000 and are convicted will face punishment for a Class H felony. This crime carries the same fine of up to $10,000 and up to six years in prison.
  • Class G felony — this is the most serious punishment someone could face for a sole shoplifting charge. If an item taken is worth more than $10,000 and a person is convicted for this crime, they will face a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 10 years in prison.

Don’t Let a Shoplifting Charge Turn Into a Conviction

As you can see, a shoplifting charge can quickly result in serious fines and prison time. Thankfully, just because someone is charged with this crime doesn’t mean they will be convicted of the offense. That’s where the team at The Law Offices of Jason D. Baltz can help. Our experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorney is ready to help you during your time of need. Read how we have helped others avoid serious punishments and reach out to set up a free consultation about your case.

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