Got Caught Shoplifting…Now What?
You really like that blouse. It’s perfect, and after trying it on, it looks perfect on you. But the price is just a bit out of your price range. But hey, it’s the holiday season and the store is packed. Surely, no one is going to notice if you just slip out of the store wearing the garment, right? Wrong, you were caught red-handed. Now what happens?
Shoplifting seems like a victimless crime, so the punishment shouldn’t be too severe, right? Wrong. Even if you only steal something that costs a dollar, you can still face up to 180 days in prison.
If you are found guilty of shoplifting, you can expect the following to happen:
- If the value of item you stole is less than $200, you can expect to go to jail for up to 180 days and a fine of up to $1,000 plus community service.
- If the value of the item you stole is between $200 and $500, you can expect a jail sentence of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000 plus community service.
- If the value of the item you stole is greater than $500 but less than $75,000, you will receive a sentence of three to five years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000 plus community service.
- If the value of the item is more than $1,000 committed by two people, or more than $75,000 committed by one person, you will receive five to 10 years in jail, a fine of up to $150,000 plus community service.
So even a victimless crime as shoplifting could get you into some fairly hot water.