Now that the holiday season is here, millions of people throughout California
and the United States will go to malls and stores, or perhaps do some
online shopping, to purchase gifts for their loved ones. Unfortunately,
the costly expectations during this time of year pressures many individuals
to take drastic measures in order to bring joy and cheer to those they
Shoplifting is one of the most common types of crimes which occur during
the holidays. Black Friday experiences shoplifting at a higher rate compared
to around Christmas time.
According to California law, shoplifting is considered a serious
theft crime. The severity of the penalties for shoplifting depends on the value of
the stolen merchandise.
If the shoplifting crime involves property valued at less than $50, it
is considered petty theft that is punishable by a maximum fine of $250—as
long as the suspect doesn’t have any prior related convictions.
If the value of the property involved int eh crime was worth $50 or less
than $950, it is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum six-month jail
sentence and a fine of up to $1,000. If the value of the property is $950
or more, it could be charged as a felony offense, which can result in
a prison sentence of up to three years.
Furthermore, you may also face civil penalties if the owner of the merchandise
suffered damages costing between $50 and $500, and the retail value of
the merchandise if it is damaged.
If you have been charged with shoplifting in Santa Barbara, our experienced
legal team at
Appel & Morse can help you either get your charges dismissed or avoid serving time behind
bars during the holidays. For more information,
contact us and schedule a free consultation today.