Beaufort Shoplifting Lawyer
Shoplifting is a serious larceny charge and could cause many negative consequences in your personal and professional life. A conviction carries potential penalties, like jail time and fines, and the state considers shoplifting a crime of moral turpitude. A crime of moral turpitude can cause difficulties for the rest of your life including problems obtaining new employment, business licenses, housing, or passing a background check.
Charges can be especially severe for a young person with no other convictions on their permanent record. If you face these types of charges, reach out to an experienced Beaufort shoplifting lawyer to prepare for your defense. A skilled theft attorney at Schiller & Hamilton could ensure that your rights and innocence are protected.
State Shoplifting Legislation
The state classifies larceny offenses by the value of the merchandise the defendant stole. Under South Carolina Code of Laws § 16-13-110, an individual is guilty of shoplifting if they:
- Remove items from a retailer
- Alter price tags
- Transfer items from one container to another
- Conceal unpurchased merchandise
A knowledgeable defense attorney in Beaufort could answer questions on state laws and go over shoplifting charges and potential penalties.
Penalties in Beaufort for a Shoplifting Conviction
If a court finds the defendant guilty of shoplifting, they face penalties, including fines, jail time, and civil lawsuits. The retailer may also file a civil lawsuit for the monetary amount of merchandise the assailant took from their establishment.
Items Less than $2,000
If the state finds an individual guilty of shoplifting items with a value of less than $2,000, they receive a misdemeanor on their permanent record. They also face fines of up to $1,000 and could serve up to 30 days in jail.
Items Over $2,000
A shoplifting conviction for items with a total value is $2,000 to $10,000 is a felony conviction. Someone convicted of stealing items within this monetary range face fines up to $1,000, and up to five years in jail. A conviction for items with a value of over $10,000 carries a felony conviction and up to ten years in prison.
If the state convicts a person of three or more shoplifting convictions, they automatically receive enhancements in addition to the other criminal penalties. A larceny offense with enhancements is a Class E felony and has the potential for up to ten years in prison. A seasoned shoplifting arrest attorney in Beaufort could help review the case and determine potential defense strategies against the prosecution.
Schedule a Consultation with a Seasoned Shoplifting Attorney in Beaufort
Shoplifting charges can cause negative consequences for many years to come. Crimes of moral turpitude, such as a shoplifting, carry a significant social stigma. They have the potential to cause problems for you and your family anywhere that requires a background check.
While a first-time offense may not send you to jail for years, it is worth fighting to try and keep the charge off your permanent record, especially if it is your first criminal charge. If you face larceny charges, contact a qualified Beaufort shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible to strategize your defense strategy. Call Schiller & Hamilton now to learn more about your legal options.