The prosecutors and judges in Livingston, Louisiana consider shoplifting to be a serious offense. It is a crime that comes with different and harsh penalties and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Some of the potential penalties are fines and jail time. And that’s not all, you also stand a chance to be sued by a merchant in a civil court in other to recover all the damages and also get a criminal record which can be very limiting. Merchants like Walmart may try to collect civil penalties from you. You can lose your job, it could be harder to get a job and you can even lose your scholarship.
In the state of Louisiana, shoplifting is categorized as theft. This means that it occurs when an individual takes possessions of value from a seller of the merchant with their consent and having the intention of depriving at a merchant from the outcomes of such goods. An intention of depriving a merchant of when an individual goes on to conceal such an item either on themselves or something else in a store or even altering the prices or exchanging price tags. It can also include the movement of goods from one container to another, rendering goods unsalable by spoiling or damaging it or other things such as altering a cash register from finding the price of an item.
Anyone who is found guilty of shoplifting can face both criminal and civil penalties according to the Louisiana law. So, this means that not only do you get prosecuted for the crime and get years in prison or fines to pay, but you are also sued by a merchant and more money is collected for damages.
Livingston mall at Juban for one is a common shoplifting center and if you are found shoplifting there, you aren’t the only one. Every year, dozens of people are either stopped, detained and even arrested for a case of shoplifting in such a location. Although a good number of people engage in this crime doesn’t mean that the penalties attached to it are something to take lightly. Hiring a lawyer in a situation like this is the best way to go about the entire thing. A good criminal defense attorney would carefully tell you all you need to know and what penalties you would most likely be subjected to. They can also find a way to reduce the penalties as much as they can when they represent you in court.
Lots of people get arrested for stealing and think they don’t need a lawyer for something like “Little” as shoplifting but are always proven wrong and realize too late when they have been arrested and convicted. There are various degrees of a shoplifting crime or retail fraud and they go as follows;
Felony Retail Theft
A felony retail fraud is considered as a felony and individuals can spend as much as 2 years in prison and this is sentenced to an individual if the stolen merchandise is one thousand dollars or possibly more. It can also occur if the merchandise involved is one thousand or more or such individual already has two conviction to their name for theft. A judge is obligated to follow any amount of incarceration.
Misdemeanor Retail Theft
A retail fraud is also considered to be a misdemeanor and carries a charge of up to 180 days in parish jail. This can either be prosecuted under the local ordinance or state. If the merchandise involved is less than one thousand dollars, such a penalty is assigned to the offender. The judge also has no obligation to any amount of incarceration.
Removal of a Theft Detection Device
The removal of a theft detection device is considered a misdemeanor but also has penalties attached to it. This includes up to 365 days in the maximum county jail which is usually under the state law. Just like the rest, the judge isn’t obligated to follow any amount of incarceration.
Criminal Defense Attorney for Retail Theft
When charged with a case of shoplifting in Livingston Louisiana, it is best to take it as seriously as possible because the law will. Do not say anything that can incriminate you more but instead demand to speak to your lawyer as soon as possible. The best thing to do is to remain calm and oblige to all the reasonable demands presented to you than causing a scene as you wait for the police to arrive. Remember that the shop owner has the right to detain you until the police arrive. When they do, demand to speak to your lawyer.
A criminal defense attorney will spell out your crime to you and let you know where you stand. Here at Carl Barkemeyer criminal defense attorney, we do all this and more. With years of experience and practice, we defend you aggressively in court to get the best outcome possible for you by either getting your charges dropped completely or having them reduced significantly.
If you’re facing a shoplifting charge in Livingston and need a criminal defense attorney, we can help. Contact us at 225-964-6720.