Johns Creek Shoplifting Lawyer
If you have been arrested for shoplifting, you need to seek out legal assistance as soon as possible. Do not be lulled into a false sense of confidence, assuming that a shoplifting arrest is not considered a “real” crime. Shoplifting is treated as a serious crime by police, prosecutors, and courts. In fact, here in Georgia, thanks to our state’s strict repeat offense laws, it is even possible to become a felon for shoplifting a half dozen candy bars, for example. A Johns Creek shoplifting lawyer at Hawkins Spizman assist many clients who were either wrongfully accused, or simply made a series of bad decisions that led to the offense, yet did not deserve to spend time locked up because of their mistake.
Georgia Shoplifting Penalties
- Property is Valued Under $500—Up to up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $1,000.
- Property is Valued Over $300—Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1,000.
- Shoplifting From Three or More Stores—If an individual shoplifts from three or more stores within seven days, and the total value of the property stolen is $500 or more, the crime becomes a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1,000.
- Second shoplifting conviction—$250 extra in fines.
- Third conviction—Mandatory 30 days in jail.
- Fourth conviction—Felony. Mandatory one-year prison sentence, up to 10 years.
Why are the Penalties for Shoplifting so High?
Atlanta, and the surrounding area, is listed as one of the nation’s greatest shoplifting hot spots, according to the National Association of Shoplifting and Theft Addiction Specialists (NASTAS). According to the NASTAS, $13 billion of goods are stolen from retailers throughout the U.S. each year. It sounds like a lot, but not compared to other forms of theft, many of which are not penalized to the degree that shoplifting is, particularly when the value of the property stolen is taken into account.
- Healthcare Fraud—Between $68 billion and $300 billion annually;
- Identity Fraud—$52 billion annually;
- Employee Theft—$50 billion annually;
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud—$30 billion annually;
- Wage Theft—$15 billion annually; and
- Securities Fraud Causing the 2007 – 2008 Financial Crisis—$16 trillion. And that is just the short term losses.
Unlike major theft crimes committed by stock brokers and employers, shoplifting is a crime usually committed by people in lower socio-economic brackets—working class people, the unemployed, homeless, and others hit by hard times. Many people who are trapped in these lower economic brackets are minorities. And, when it comes right down to it, the people who are most likely to commit the crime of shoplifting are easy to punish.
Contact a Johns Creek Shoplifting Lawyer Today
Being arrested, no matter what it is for, is terrifying. It is important that you seek out help at this time, because it can be impossible to think with a clear head following such a traumatic experience. If you have been accused of shoplifting, call the Johns Creek shoplifting lawyers at Hawkins Spizman today at 770-685-6400 to schedule a free consultation.