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Shoplifting Laws Questions

Shoplifting is known by many names; five finger discount, boosting, skimming, lifting and pocketing are just a few of them. The act itself occurs when a person steals from a retail establishment. Shoplifting is one of the most common offenses committed. Most shoplifting is considered petty theft of small items by amateurs. However, there are people who have made a career out of shoplifting. The penalties and punishments for shoplifting tend to vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Below are just a few of the more commonly asked shoplifting questions that have been answered by experts.

My fifteen year old daughter was caught shoplifting a couple of weeks ago. What can we expect when we go to court. This is her first offense.

Usually, when a person steals items with a value that exceeds $250, they could face Class D Felony theft. The person could spend up to 6 months to 3 years in prison for this crime. Now, keep in mind, this is the maximum penalties according to state law. Furthermore, your daughter is a juvenile and has committed her first offense. Because children are expected to mess up from time to time, they are not generally treated the same as adults are. However, there is no way to determine how your daughter's case will be handled. This is generally up to the judge and the prosecutor and the seriousness of the crime.

My son got a ticket for shoplifting. He made a mistake, he has realized it and we are hoping the prosecuting attorney will give him a second chance with a clean slate. How do we word that to the prosecutor?

Generally, people who are charged with shoplifting for the first time will be offered a diversion program. The program is usually 3-6 months and the defendant is expected to stay out of trouble during this time. Community service is usually another part of the program as well as any fines and costs. The case is usually dismissed if the defendant successfully completes the program.

At your son's court appearance, you could ask about such a program. You could also contact an attorney to review your son's charges to determine if you have a legal defense. The attorney can tell you if you have a case. If not, the attorney could work out a plea agreement with the prosecutor. Your son will learn of his options when he goes to court. If your son isn't sure what he wants to do at that point, he can request more time and then hire an attorney.

I am going to the court for a shoplifting case. What is going happen in the court?

If you have a clear record and this is your first offense, you may want to hire an attorney to represent you in court. An attorney can talk to the prosecutor and discuss possible options on your behalf. This is something you are unable to do because anything you tell the prosecutor could be used against you.

Your charge is a Misdemeanor and carries a possible sentence of less than one year in jail and up to a $1000 fine. If you choose to by- pass a deal with the prosecutor, the charge could remain on your record geminately. The only option then would be to hire an attorney to assist you in an expungement of your record. An attorney can usually work out a deal, however you need an attorney who will try for a deferred sentence or a diversion program.

What is the punishment for shoplifting the state of Nebraska? Can it be held from the newspaper and not leaked to the community?

The punishment for stealing anything under $200 is a Class 2 Misdemeanor in Nebraska. The maximum penalty is up to 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine. The chance that you will go to jail would be small and you will probably only pay a fine of $250. If the police cited you, and not the store, this means you were formally charged with shoplifting which is a crime. This type of information can be released to the public by newspaper.

My son is 17; He was caught shoplifting in Columbus Ga. I received a settlement letter from a law firm filing a civil claim in the amount of 150.00. Do I really have to pay this and what will happen of I refuse?

Because 18 is considered the age of an adult in GA, and your son is only 17 there is no way that he can be legally sued. However, as his parent, you would become liable for any civil actions against him. If you don't pay this, it is possible the store could take you to small claims court and file a judgment against you. The bottom line is you are civilly liable for your son until he turns 18, even though a 17 year old can be charged as an adult.

Shoplifting is a crime and one that can ruin your chances of finding decent employment as well as ruin your reputation. If you are facing a shoplifting charge, or have questions about shoplifting charges, you should ask an Expert to assist you in making the right choice for your individual situation.
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