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NOT LEGAL ADVICE!
NOT LEGAL ADVICE!, FOR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY
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My niece was caught shop lifting with her boyfriend at ...

Customer Question

My niece was caught today shop-lifting with her boyfriend at Wal-mart in Georgia. She just turned 17 11/07. It is a first time offense. She stole a role of $5 ribbon.

Her father went to handle things which took about 8 hours, and they are safely home now. Not that it is relevant to my questions, but her parents are very involved and there will be big consequenses at home. Certainly no boyfriend, no car, no cell phone, etc., but back to the legal issues.

As serious as the family is taking this we also would like to keep this off of her adult record.

No one in our family has ever been arrested. Her father said she was being treated legally like an adult which surprised me.

My questions are:

1) Is it typical that she would be arrested and treated as an adult for a first offense of $5 shop lifting?

2) Is it possible that this can be removed from her record as the legal process goes forward?

3) Is there any advice you have in finding an appropriate attorney?
TY
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  NOT LEGAL ADVICE! replied 6 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer.

Juvenile court should have jurisdiction over her case. It is likely that she will be charged with a misdemeanor. Your attorney may request a deferred sentence. If this is granted and she completes her sentence, then she will not have a record. If she is indeed charged and is not given the option of a deferred sentence, she can petition to have her juvenile record expunged.

Click here for information on expungement.

We are not permitted to recommend specific attorneys. You may consider contacting the GA bar association's lawyer referral service. Click here for more information. Best of luck to your neice.

Let me know if you would like more information.

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Disclaimer: Any information given by me is for informational use only and is not legal advice. This is general information and is not intended to be specifically tailored to an individual. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and its associated sites. Persons accessing this response are encouraged to seek legal counsel in their jurisdiction for accurate guidance regarding their individual circumstances.

§ 16-8-14. Theft by shoplifting

(a) A person commits the offense of theft by shoplifting when he alone or in concert with another person, with the intent of appropriating merchandise to his own use without paying for the same or to deprive the owner of possession thereof or of the value thereof, in whole or in part, does any of the following:

(1) Conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;

(2) Alters the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;

(3) Transfers the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment from one container to another;

(4) Interchanges the label or price tag from one item of merchandise with a label or price tag for another item of merchandise; or

(5) Wrongfully causes the amount paid to be less than the merchant's stated price for the merchandise.
(b)(1) A person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, when the property which was the subject of the theft is $300.00 or less in value shall be punished as for a misdemeanor; provided, however, that:

(A) Upon conviction of a second offense for shoplifting, where the first offense is either a felony or a misdemeanor, as defined by this Code section, in addition to or in lieu of any imprisonment which might be imposed, the defendant shall be fined not less than $250.00 and the fine shall not be suspended or probated;

(B) Upon conviction of a third offense for shoplifting, where the first two offenses are either felonies or misdemeanors, or a combination of a felony and a misdemeanor, as defined by this Code section, in addition to or in lieu of any fine which might be imposed, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 30 days or confinement in a "special alternative incarceration-probation boot camp," probation detention center, diversion center, or other community correctional facility of the Department of Corrections for a period of 120 days or shall be sentenced to monitored house arrest for a period of 120 days and, in addition to either such types of confinement, may be required to undergo psychological evaluation and treatment to be paid for by the defendant; and such sentence of imprisonment or confinement shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld; and

(C) Upon conviction of a fourth or subsequent offense for shoplifting, where the prior convictions are either felonies or misdemeanors, or any combination of felonies and misdemeanors, as defined by this Code section, the defendant commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years; and the first year of such sentence shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld.

(2) A person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, when the property which was the subject of the theft exceeds $300.00 in value commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

(3) A person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, when the property which was the subject of the theft is taken from three separate stores or retail establishments within one county during a period of seven days or less and when the property which was the subject of each theft exceeds $100.00 in value, commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

(c) In all cases involving theft by shoplifting, the term "value" means the actual retail price of the property at the time and place of the offense. The unaltered price tag or other marking on property, or duly identified photographs thereof, shall be prima-facie evidence of value and ownership of the property.

(d) Subsection (b) of this Code section shall in no way affect the authority of a sentencing judge to provide for a sentence to be served on weekends or during the nonworking hours of the defendant as provided in Code Section 17-10-3, relative to punishment for misdemeanors.

GA 17-10-3

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, every crime declared to be a misdemeanor shall be punished as follows:

(1) By a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or by confinement in the county or other jail, county correctional institution, or such other places as counties may provide for maintenance of county inmates, for a total term not to exceed 12 months, or both;

(2) By confinement under the jurisdiction of the Board of Corrections in a state probation detention center or diversion center pursuant to Code Sections 42-8-35.4 and 42-8-35.5, for a determinate term of months which shall not exceed a total term of 12 months; or

(3) If the crime was committed by an inmate within the confines of a state correctional institution, by confinement under the jurisdiction of the Board of Corrections in a state correctional institution or such other institution as the Department of Corrections may direct for a term which shall not exceed 12 months.

(b) Either the punishment provided in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section, but not both, may be imposed in the discretion of the sentencing judge. Misdemeanor punishment imposed under either paragraph may be subject to suspension or probation. The sentencing courts shall retain jurisdiction to amend, modify, alter, suspend, or probate sentences under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section at any time, but in no instance shall any sentence under the paragraph be modified in a manner to place a county inmate under the jurisdiction of the Board of Corrections, except as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section.

(c) In all misdemeanor cases in which, upon conviction, a six-month sentence or less is imposed, it is within the authority and discretion of the sentencing judge to allow the sentence to be served on weekends by weekend confinement or during the nonworking hours of the defendant. A weekend shall commence and shall end in the discretion of the sentencing judge, and the nonworking hours of the defendant shall be determined in the discretion of the sentencing judge; provided, however, that the judge shall retain plenary control of the defendant at all times during the sentence period. A weekend term shall be counted as serving two days of the full sentence. Confinement during the nonworking hours of a defendant during any day may be counted as serving a full day of the sentence.

(d) In addition to or instead of any other penalty provided for the punishment of a misdemeanor involving a traffic offense, or punishment of a municipal ordinance involving a traffic offense, with the exception of habitual offenders sentenced under Code Section 17-10-7, a judge may impose any one or more of the following sentences:

(1) Reexamination by the Department of Driver Services when the judge has good cause to believe that the convicted licensed driver is incompetent or otherwise not qualified to be licensed;

(2) Attendance at, and satisfactory completion of, a driver improvement course meeting standards approved by the court;

(3) Within the limits of the authority of the charter powers of a municipality or the punishment prescribed by law in other courts, imprisonment at times specified by the court or release from imprisonment upon such conditions and at such times as may be specified; or

(4) Probation or suspension of all or any part of a penalty upon such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the judge. The conditions may include driving with no further motor vehicle violations during a specified time unless the driving privileges have been or will be otherwise suspended or revoked by law; reporting periodically to the court or a specified agency; and performing, or refraining from performing, such acts as may be ordered by the judge.

(e) Any sentence imposed under subsection (d) of this Code section shall be reported to the Department of Driver Services as prescribed by law.

(f) The Department of Corrections shall lack jurisdiction to supervise misdemeanor offenders, except when the sentence is made concurrent to a probated felony sentence or when the sentence is accepted pursuant to Code Section 42-9-71. Except as provided in this subsection, the Department of Corrections shall lack jurisdiction to confine misdemeanor offenders.

(g) This Code section will have no effect upon any offender convicted of a misdemeanor offense prior January 1, 2001, and sentenced to confinement under the jurisdiction of the Board of Corrections or to the supervision of the Department of Corrections.

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Jen Sterling's Post: One last question, I understand she is being charged as an adult. Can an attorney first try to have that changed and have her charged as a juvenile?

Thanks for you help...
Expert:  NOT LEGAL ADVICE! replied 6 years ago.
Yes, an attorney could try to have her charged as a juvenile.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE!, FOR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2201
Experience: Information provided is for entertainment puposes only and is NOT legal advice.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE! and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I wanted to let you know we now have a criminal attorney in Goergia. In their county, we learned a 17 year old is treated as an adult for shop lifting.

The arrest is public like an adults until an attorney takes some action to have the charge "deferred" or the like. Our attorney is optomistic given this is her first offense, and that the $ value was low. Of course, he is making no promises which is understandable.

Just wanted to let you know.....

No need to reply.

ST

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