No matter where you live, shoplifting, or petty theft, is a crime that is taken very seriously. In the state of Rhode Island, shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor crime. The act of shoplifting includes stealing items, altering the price tags on store items, removing shopping carts beyond their permitted areas, and any kind of criminal activity that involves the intent to take from a merchant. These are just a few examples, but if you have committed any one of these acts, you can be charged with shoplifting.
Penalties for Shoplifting in Rhode Island
As a misdemeanor crime, shoplifting comes with some hefty consequences. If you are convicted, you face expensive fines and could even serve time in jail as a result. When it comes to fines for first time offenses, you will likely pay anywhere between $50 or two times the full retail value of the merchandise that was stolen, whichever is the greater amount. In most cases, your fine will not be more than $500. You may also serve up to one year in jail in addition to paying those fines.
However, if the stolen merchandise retailed for over $100 and you have previously been convicted of shoplifting, the consequences are even greater. You will be charged with a felony and could have to pay up to $5,000 in fines. Imprisonment of up to five years is also an option as punishment for the crime. The state of Rhode Island does not take these charges lightly.
It’s also possible that you may be sued by the victim, as they are entitled to money damages up to the retail value of the merchandise that was stolen. When all is said and done, shoplifting is a very expensive crime if convicted.
Have You Been Accused of Shoplifting?
If you or someone you know has been accused of shoplifting, the best thing you can do is to contact a lawyer immediately. Trying to take on these charges alone will not yield the best results in court. Instead, you need a capable and competent lawyer by your side to fight for your rights and work to keep you out of jail. The help of lawyer could mean lesser consequences for you. For these reasons, it’s best to get a lawyer involved in your case as soon as possible so he or she can begin working on a plan to tackle your case.
Kensley Barrett is a top Rhode Island shoplifting defense lawyer and will work to put together a strong defensive strategy for your case. He’ll investigate your unique case to figure out the best plan of action, including raising defenses, diversion programs, and plea bargaining. With years of experience as a defense attorney, you’ll want him by your side in the courtroom.
If you’re interested in speaking to Kensley Barrett one-on-one about your case, you can schedule a free consultation to discuss your options. This is a no-obligation consultation, which means you aren’t required to hire him after the meeting. He’ll discuss your options with you so you will know exactly what to expect moving forward with these shoplifting charges.
To schedule your free consultation, contact our office today. There’s no time to waste, so act now to get strong attorney involved in your case. It just might be the difference in whether or not you spend time in jail.