Shoplifting A Defense You Can Trust

Atlanta Shoplifting Attorney

Common Theft Crimes in Atlanta

Shoplifting is most likely the most commonly committed type of theft crime throughout the U.S. Most often a form of petty theft, shoplifting involves taking merchandise from a retail establishment. This may be a CD from a music store, or a necklace from a department store in a mall. Shoplifting is most commonly carried out as a non-violent theft crime, meaning the offender uses hidden means to carry out the offense rather than force or a weapon (such as in the case of robbery.)

Have you been accused of or arrested for shoplifting? From the moment you are stopped by store security or find out you are under investigation by law enforcement for suspected shoplifting, you may be in danger of facing criminal charges. It is important that you consider consulting a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Penalties for Shoplifting

In Georgia, shoplifting is most often a misdemeanor offense. It is designated a misdemeanor when the value of merchandise involved is less than $300, and may be punishable by a maximum penalty of 12 months in county jail. However, the court may be willing to let a defendant avoid imprisonment depending on the specific case. If the value of property involved is more than $300 or the defendant has three or more prior shoplifting convictions on his or her record, this crime may be charged as a felony, punishable by anywhere from 1 to 10 years in state prison. The same may apply if the defendant is accused of taking property with an overall value of $100 or more from three different stores in the same county, within a 7-day time period.

As a skilled trial attorney, Matthew T. McNally represents clients throughout Atlanta and the surrounding areas in Georgia in the face of their shoplifting charges. For a consultation regarding your charges, please contact Atlanta criminal defense lawyer Matt McNally today.

Understanding Shoplifting Crimes in Atlanta: Local Insights and Resources

Living in Atlanta, the city is bustling with various retail establishments, from the upscale shops at Lenox Square to the eclectic boutiques in Little Five Points. Unfortunately, this vibrant shopping scene also means that shoplifting is a common issue both store owners and law enforcement face. If you find yourself accused of shoplifting, it's crucial to understand the local context and resources available to you.

The Atlanta Police Department (APD) and the Fulton County Sheriff's Office are the primary law enforcement agencies that handle shoplifting cases in the city. These entities are vigilant in curbing retail theft, often working closely with store security teams to identify and apprehend suspects. Awareness of their involvement can help you better navigate the legal landscape if you face charges.

One of Atlanta's unique challenges is the high volume of tourists and transient populations, which can complicate shoplifting cases. For instance, during major events like the Atlanta Jazz Festival or a Falcons game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the influx of visitors can increase scrutiny and heightened security measures in retail areas. This means that even a minor shoplifting accusation can quickly escalate, making it essential to seek legal advice promptly.

Another local pain point is the economic disparity across different neighborhoods. Areas like Buckhead may have more resources to combat shoplifting, while smaller businesses in neighborhoods like East Atlanta Village might struggle with the financial impact of theft. Understanding these local dynamics can be crucial in building a solid defense strategy.

At the Law Office of Matthew T. McNally, we are deeply familiar with the intricacies of Atlanta's legal system and the specific challenges residents and visitors face. Whether you're dealing with a misdemeanor charge for a minor theft or a more serious felony accusation, we are here to provide the guidance and support you need. Contact us today to discuss your case and explore your options.

Commonly Asked Questions

What constitutes shoplifting in Atlanta?

In Atlanta, shoplifting typically involves the act of taking merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it. This can include items like a CD from a music store or a necklace from a department store. Shoplifting is carried out through concealed actions rather than using force or weapons, distinguishing it from more violent theft crimes such as robbery.

What should I do if I'm accused of shoplifting in Atlanta?

If you're accused of or arrested for shoplifting in Atlanta, it's crucial to seek legal counsel immediately. Consulting with a criminal defense lawyer can help protect your rights and provide you with the necessary guidance to navigate the legal system. An attorney can assist you from the moment you are stopped by store security or learn about an investigation by law enforcement.

Can I avoid jail time for a misdemeanor shoplifting charge in Georgia?

While jail time is a possible penalty for misdemeanor shoplifting in Georgia, courts may consider alternatives depending on the circumstances of the case. Options may include fines, community service, or probation. However, the outcome varies, and having a defense attorney can significantly influence the possibility of avoiding imprisonment.

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