In Alabama, the offense of shoplifting is a crime that carries serious penalties including jail time and potential fines. In addition to these kinds of charges, shoplifters may also be sued by merchants in civil court for the recovery of damages.
A Class a Misdemeanor Charge
Therefore, in Alabama, the crime is considered theft. Criminal penalties become progressively more serious with the increase in a value of the stolen goods. Police officers and merchants can also detain people who they suspect are guilty of shoplifting activities. Professionals in criminal law in Phenix City, AL add that stolen property valued up to $500 is classified under the penalties for third-degree theft. This Class A misdemeanor carries a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine of $6,000.
A Class C Felony
Under criminal law statutes, second-degree theft charges are leveled at offenders who steal goods that are valued between $500 and $2,500. This type of theft may involve a firearm. Defendants may receive from one year to 10 years of jail time and pay a fine up to $15,000 for the Class C felony.
Criminal law cases involving first-degree theft, which is a Class B felony, involve the taking of goods that exceed $2,500 in value. Defendants may receive between two and 20 years in jail and/or a fine up to $30,000.
In Alabama, adult shoplifters or the legal guardians of parents of minors who shoplift are liable in civil court systems to merchants. Merchants who sue in civil court can recoup the full retail value of their merchandise as well as the costs for recovery in the amount of $200, including $1,000 for court costs and attorney fees.
Where to Learn More about Your Rights and Defenses
Needless to say, shoplifting is a serious crime with equally serious repercussions. If you have been accused of the crime, you can find more information about the offense by going online and researching the charge. Make an appointment right away to speak to a lawyer. Your attorney can assist you in exploring all your options, which include plea bargaining or diversion.
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