Whether a misdemeanor or a felony, if you are convicted of shoplifting, you face significant penalties that can have a serious impact on your freedom and your future.
Before July 1, 2014, if you stole anything in Indiana valued under $100,000 – even a candy bar – you would be charged with a felony. Under the revisions to Indiana’s Criminal Code that came into effect on that date, however, shoplifting or theft of anything valued at less than $750 will get you a Class A misdemeanor charge.
If the property stolen is of more than $750 in value and less than $50,000, is a firearm or if the theft is done with a previous conviction of theft or criminal conversion, it is now a Level 6 felony that can result in a conviction of up to 2.5 years. Any theft over $50,000 is now a level 5 offense punishable up to six years in prison. Theft can also be a Level 5 felony if it involves a motor vehicle, public safety, health care or telecommunications facilities or public utilities.
A misdemeanor conviction for shoplifting is no slap on the wrist; it can still result in up to a year behind bars. With a shoplifting conviction on your record, potential employers may be reluctant to trust you. If you are not a U.S. citizen, theft charges can have an influence on your immigration status because thefts and similar charges are considered very negative by the federal government (“crimes of moral turpitude”). This is why it’s important to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as you have been charged with shoplifting.
With so much riding on the outcome of your case, you need an experienced Indiana criminal defense lawyer who can begin preparing your defense and give you the best chance of avoiding or minimizing the serious consequences of a conviction.
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