The Rise Of Self-Checkouts And Shoplifting Charges
Self-checkouts have become a very common sight at many retailers in Ouachita Parish and across Louisiana. Retailers use self-checkouts for many reasons. They help business owners reduce payroll costs, which are one of the biggest expenses when running a business. They are also very reliable, particularly in a post-pandemic world when business owners sometimes have trouble finding workers, or in stores where employees regularly call in sick.
While self-checkouts are convenient for business owners, they have spelled a lot of trouble for customers. The rise of these machines has also made shoplifting charges much more common and often, people who are charged are not guilty. The average customer is not familiar with working tills, weighing items, or making sure certain items were scanned. This can result in one simple mistake leading to a shoplifting charge. If you have been accused, our Ouachita Parish theft crime lawyer explains what you need to know below.
Misdemeanor Shoplifting Charges
In Louisiana, shoplifting is a type of theft, but the charges may vary depending on the facts of the case. A shoplifting charge classified as a misdemeanor will have less harsh punishments than other types of shoplifting charges. Whether a person is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on the value of the goods taken. A person will face misdemeanor shoplifting charges if the value of the property stolen was less than $1,000.
A conviction for a misdemeanor shoplifting charge can result in jail time, but if so, it is usually fairly short. However, there are instances in which even those convicted do not serve jail time for a misdemeanor conviction.
Felony Shoplifting Charges
When the amount of property stolen is valued between $1,000 and $25,000, the theft charge will be classified as a felony. When the amount in question is less than $5,000, a person may face up to give years in prison. In cases that involve higher amounts, such as $25,000 or more, a person may face up to 20 years in prison.
As with most other criminal offenses in Ouachita Parish, having a prior conviction on your record will have a significant impact on your case. For example, if you are convicted of shoplifting and already have an offense on your record, you may have to serve up to two years in prison instead of the usual zero to six months. It is for this reason it is so critical to work with an Ouachita Parish theft crime lawyer who can give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
Our Theft Crime Lawyer in Ouachita Parish Can Help You Beat Your Charges
If you have been accused of shoplifting, you need a strong legal defense. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Ouachita Parish theft crime lawyer can provide it so you have the best chance of beating your charges or getting them reduced. Call us now at 318-387-2776 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.