Shoplifting is often regarded --- by law enforcement and business --- as a petty crime few consequences. Often ... it's viewed as something that teenagers do - and grow out of. Generally, most people see this offense as something that can/should be able to be "fixed" by by returning the stolen merchandise to a store and apologizing or just paying for it ... and maybe being ordered, by the authorities, to pay a fine.
As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney - and as a former prosecutor - I can (sadly and) confidently assert that this is often not the case.
Shoplifting is Bad (For You)
Under the laws of the State of Minnesota law, shoplifting is considered a Theft --- and this crime is treated seriously - by the government and the judge. And, not only might someone face jail time ... the more serous impact is felt when they go looking for a job, housing and/or a loan from a bank and this indiscretion shows up on a back-ground check.
Regardless of why you have been charged with shoplifting, conviction can result in numerous criminal penalties, along with the risk of being sued by the merchant in civil court. In addition to getting a lawyer - ASAP - it’s important to understand shoplifting laws and penalties.
When most of us think about Shoplifting, I sure we conjur up ideas of someone leaving a store without paying for something. While that certainly counts ... there are a number of different actions that someone could potentially engage in that qualify as retail theft. These include:
- Taking store property without consent;
- Hiding store property without consent;
- Lying to obtain goods; and/or
- Switching price tags to pay less for a product.
Minnesota Shoplifting (Penalties)
Shoplifting charges typically depend on the value of the property taken. Low value items - under $500, such as a pack of gum, costume jewelry, or a small electronic like a flash drive are generally considered misdemeanors --- where the maximum sentence can be a $1000 fine and 90 days in jail. More valuable items --- could result in serious charges and penalties can follow.
Here are a few of the potential penalties you may face:
- Values between $500 and $1,000: Up to $10,000 in fines and/or five years in prison;
- Value between $5,000 and $35,000: Up to $20,000 in fines and/or up to 10 years in prison; and
- Value over $35,000: Up to $100,000 in fines and/or up to 20 years in prison.
Fighting a Shoplifting Charge
A Shoplifting conviction can result in some long-term consequences, including a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. Because of this, you might find it necessary to get answers from a lawyer. The Rolloff Law Office has represented 100s of individuals who have made a small mistake like this --- to ensure that your rights are protected, it’s important to have a Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer --- with a successful track record --- looking out for your best interests. Contact the Rolloff Law Office - today - and set-up a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165