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Wilmington Shoplifting Defense Attorney

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Shoplifting is a specific form of larceny, or the theft of merchandise or goods without paying for them. It can involve simply taking merchandise from a store with no intent to return it, or it can mean attempting to pay a lower price for it by switching price tags. Each form of shoplifting comes with its own consequence, depending on the value of the goods stolen or the way it was stolen.

For example, concealing merchandise in the store that hasn’t been purchased while still on the store premises is a misdemeanor form of shoplifting. Putting another item’s price tag on a more expensive item (and attempting to purchase it) is also a misdemeanor. Any form of larceny worth less than $1,000 is also considered a misdemeanor.

However, shoplifting can be a felony in North Carolina under certain circumstances.

Shoplifting over $1,000 in goods is a felony, for example. Stealing less than $1,000 in merchandise can be prosecuted as a felony if it’s taken through an emergency exit or if the accused tampered with antishoplifting devices. Taking as little as $200 in goods results in felony charges when stolen this way.

Shoplifting Penalties

In any shoplifting case, the defendant is likely to be sued in civil court for the cost of the merchandise. That applies to any felony or misdemeanor charge. However, the state’s case against you is the far more costly one.

Here are the criminal penalties for shoplifting in North Carolina:

  • Shoplifting misdemeanors: 1-10 days in jail (1st offense)
  • Shoplifting misdemeanors: 1-30 days in jail (2nd offense)
  • Shoplifting misdemeanors: 1-45 days in jail (3rd offense)
  • Tampering with antitheft device: Class H felony—4-25 months’ prison time
  • Using an emergency exit: Class H felony—4-25 months’ prison time
  • Stealing over $1,000 in goods: Class H felony—4-25 months’ prison time

If you’ve been charged with shoplifting, turn to an award-winning Wilmington shoplifting defense attorney. Our board certified defense specialist can give you counsel in a free, no-obligation consultation. Call (910) 595-1377 today!

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