Shoplifting is considered a serious crime in Georgia, and those found guilty can face severe criminal and civil reprisals. Extensive fines, jail time and even civil suits from the store owner can make life come to a screeching halt. Regardless of how you came to be accused, you need an experienced criminal attorney in your corner to protect your rights. M. Qader A. Baig & Associates, LLC has the knowledge and experience you need when confronted with a charge of shoplifting in Georgia.
What Counts as Shoplifting in Georgia?
Holiday shopping is a busy and even hectic time when everyone is in a rush to get all the items on their list at the best prices, and all while hiding those surprises from the intended recipients. However an item ended up unaccounted for, or you were accused of shoplifting, you need to know how the law works and your legal options.
Shoplifting in Georgia, as defined by state statute O.C.G.A. § 16-8-14, includes “performing certain actions with the intent of taking merchandise without paying for it or depriving the owner of possession of the merchandise or its value.” Commonly, shoplifting is thought of as taking an item out of a store without paying for it. But other actions are covered by the law’s definition. Georgia law lists five examples:
- Altering price tags
- Concealing or taking possession of merchandise
- Moving merchandise to another container with a lower price
- Switching price tags
- Wrongfully causing the amount owed to be less than intended
Shoplifting is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the items in question, as well as the contributing circumstances.
Experienced Criminal Protections for Shoplifting
In order to be convicted of shoplifting, the State of Georgia must prove beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law that your actions were intentional. Your story and the circumstances of the incident can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. M. Qader A. Baig & Associates, LLC provides experienced and professional legal protections for those accused of shoplifting in Georgia. Call our office at (770) 929-1665 to arrange a confidential legal consultation today.