Although most people may think of shoplifting as a minor offense, the law takes shoplifting much more seriously. If convicted of a shoplifting charge, both jail time and significant fines may be the penalty. Depending on the value of the goods you stole and whether it’s a first or second conviction, you can end up with a felony conviction on your record, which can significantly affect your future.
Fighting a shoplifting charge is essential if you want to ensure that your record stays clean. A Terre Haute criminal defense lawyer from Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm can investigate your case and help build a strong defense to support you. Hopefully, we can get your charges reduced or dismissed so that you can put this mistake behind you.
Shoplifting Penalties in Indiana
In the state of Indiana, a shoplifting conviction will result in a Class A misdemeanor if you stole less than $750 in merchandise. A Class A misdemeanor can be punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000.
If this is your second shoplifting conviction, or if you stole between $750 and $50,000, then you’ll be charged with a level 6 felony, which is punishable by up to two-and-a-half years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
Although these are criminal charges you’ll face for shoplifting, the merchant of the store that you stole from can also sue you in civil court. If they win the civil lawsuit, you may be ordered to pay them up to three times the amount of the merchandise you stole. You’ll also have to pay for their court costs and attorney’s fees.
Defenses for Shoplifting
Prosecutors trying to prove that you committed a crime by shoplifting will use evidence such as video footage and eyewitness testimonies. In order to build a strong defense, your criminal defense lawyer in Terre Haute may try to show that the eyewitnesses lack credibility. Video footage can be used to show inconsistencies in the testimonies of the eyewitnesses, as well.
As long as the video footage and witness testimony don’t show enough evidence to be certain that you shoplifted, then it may be possible to avoid a criminal conviction.
Reach Out to a Terre Haute Criminal Defense Attorney
Having an experienced attorney by your side in the courtroom to negotiate on your behalf may be the key to winning your case. If you’re ready to speak to a Terre Haute criminal defense lawyer from Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm about your shoplifting charges in greater detail, call 1-812-232-7400 or fill out the contact form below to schedule a free consultation.