First Offense For Shoplifting And Its Punishment
Shoplifting is a serious issue and is generally considered a misdemeanor. The person is considered a shoplifter if he/she goes beyond the billing counter without paying for an item or concealing without the shop owner’s knowledge. However, the offence is punishable under law and in some cases can be charged as a felony crime, making it an offence at the federal level.
If the person steals an item that is less than $500, the punishment is less severe. If the item stolen is worth more than $500, the offence in some cases can be branded as grand felony.
In some cases, if the offence is committed for the first time, the shops might decide to let the offender off with a stern warning. In other cases, the stores will decide to take immediate stringent legal action to put an end to the stealing nuisance that has risen considerably over time in the recent past in America.
Exchanging the price tag to buy an item for a lesser price is also a shoplifting offence. However, the punishment meted out for first time shoplifters are:
- Paying a fine depending on the value of the item stolen and the nature of stealing the item
- The shops can file a case in court and ask the offender to be present for hearing. Counseling and warnings are generally given for first time offenders.
- Involve the offender in community or social services for a period of 24 hours
- A jail term if the item/s stolen is more than $500.
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