Frederick Shoplifting Lawyer

In Frederick, there is a wide variety of charges that cover the theft of an item that does not belong to you. When the theft is committed in a shop or a store, the crime is known as shoplifting.

Shoplifting has earned a reputation among some people as a minor crime involving the theft of inexpensive items. The reality is that these charges could have a lasting impact on your livelihood and freedom. In some cases, a shoplifting arrest could result in a felony charge that carries significant prison time.

A dedicated criminal defense attorney could evaluate the evidence the state intends to use against you. By discussing your options with a Frederick shoplifting lawyer, you could find yourself in a position to obtain a favorable outcome.

Shoplifting Laws in Frederick

Unlike many crimes, there is not dedicated statute for shoplifting in Frederick. In fact, the statutes relating to theft never mention the term “shoplifting” at all. However, shoplifting is simply a form of theft covered by Maryland Code Section 7-104. The statute, in general, bars a person from willfully or knowingly taking the property of another, including from a store. This is not the only form of potential conviction however, as concealing or abandoning an item belonging to another person could also qualify.

For example, a person that removes an item for sale from the display area and conceals it near an exit to take later could face charges of shoplifting. The important element is intent. Any person that conceals or moves an item with the intent of depriving the owner of the property could face charges for shoplifting. This is also the case if a person knew that deprivation from the owner was the likely result of their actions. A Frederick attorney could demonstrate to the court or a prosecutor that their client accused of shoplifting had no intent to remove an item from the store or deprive the owner of their merchandise.

Penalties for a Shoplifting Conviction

The penalty for a shoplifting conviction depends on the value of the item that was taken. If the merchandise was worth $1,000 or less, this offense is a misdemeanor under state law. A conviction could lead to no more than 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500 if the merchandise was worth less than $100. For merchandise valued between $100 and $1,000, the potential prison term could be as much as 18 months.

Could Shoplifting Be Considered a Felony?

Shoplifting is a felony for theft of any item over $1,000. The severity of the penalty a conviction brings will depend on the exact value. An item that is worth between $1,000 and $10,000 could lead to a maximum of 10 years in prison. Theft of an item valued between $10,000 and $100,000 could lead to 15 years in prison. As unlikely as it might be in a shoplifting situation, the theft of anything valued at over $100,000 could carry a prison term of no more than 25 years. A Frederick shoplifting attorney could push back not only on the potential sentence involved in the case, but even dispute the actual value of the item allegedly taken.

Discuss your Case with a Frederick Shoplifting Attorney

If you have been arrested under charges of shoplifting in Frederick, it is vital that you contact an attorney immediately. The prosecutors will begin building a case against you right away, putting you at a disadvantage if you wait to contact legal counsel.

Do not face these potentially severe penalties alone. Call a Frederick shoplifting lawyer right away to get your case started.