Elton Jenkins Law, P.L.L.C.

When a holiday shopping trip leads to shoplifting charges

Over this upcoming Black Friday and the rest of the holiday shopping season, many people here in Oklahoma will be coming home with great deals. However, if a person is accused of shoplifting during his or her holiday shopping, he or she could instead be coming home with something that could have major negative impacts on his or her life: A criminal charge.

Most of the time, shoplifting charges are misdemeanor charges here in Oklahoma. Under state law, shoplifting is a misdemeanor offense when the amount of goods stolen is less than $1,000.

Being convicted on a misdemeanor shoplifting charge can leave a person facing many things. This includes restitution payments, fines and even jail time. How severe of penalties a person could face depends how many prior convictions of shoplifting he or she has on his or her record.

A first or second conviction of misdemeanor shoplifting generally carries a fine of $10 to $500 and a jail term of up to 30 days. As a note, the minimum fine that can be given for such a conviction rises to $50 if a person is found to have stolen more than one item.

For a third or greater conviction of misdemeanor shoplifting, a person can be fined up to $1,000 and given a jail sentence of up to one year.

What if a person is accused of shoplifting $1,000 or more worth of goods? Then felony charges are a possibility. Felony shoplifting convictions carry harsher penalties, with the severity of the penalties rising the greater the value of the goods a person is found to have stolen.

Being accused of shoplifting can not only ruin a person’s holiday season, it has the potential to have major implications for a person’s future. So, it can be critical for individuals accused of shoplifting in connection to their holiday shopping to promptly reach out for guidance on defense strategies and options.

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