Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
HelloThis is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.
Under MD law, the merchant can either issue a civil fine demand and/or file criminal charges. Most times, the merchant will issue a civil fine and bar you from the store. But it seems this time the merchant is going to do both.
If you pay the fine or not, they are still going to prosecute you. I suggest because there is a risk of jail time - though highly unlikely on a first offense - but since there is a possibility of it, you should consider having a local attorney go to court with you.
A misdemeanor theft carries a potential sentence of imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or a fine of not more than $500, or both.
And that is the criminal penalty and fine. The Civil penalty/fine is in addition thereto.