While shoplifting is a specific form of theft, the law treats it just as severely as any other criminal act of stealing. Repeat shoplifting offenses come with especially harsh penalties, but even a first-time instance of shoplifting can imply steep consequences.
The severity of a conviction for retail theft varies based on the total amount of goods stolen in the act of shoplifting. By knowing more about how the law views shoplifting and what types of penalties you may face, you can prepare accordingly to defend yourself against the charges before you.
What is the severity of shoplifting in Indiana?
As with any other form of theft, Indiana legal codes define shoplifting as a crime starting as a Class A misdemeanor. However, the severity of the crime escalates to a Level 6 felony if the value of stolen goods exceeds $750. The charge escalates further to a Level 5 felony if the crime entails the theft of goods exceeding $50,000 or if any of the stolen property contains valuable metals.
What are the penalties for shoplifting in Indiana?
Most first-time shoplifting offenses are misdemeanors that entail the theft of goods valuing less than $750. The penalty for a Class A misdemeanor in Indiana is a maximum of one year in jail and fines not to exceed $5,000. A Level 6 felony theft offense implies a harsher penalty of up to two and a half years in prison.
Repeat shoplifting offenses can lead to harsher consequences regardless of the monetary amount of goods stolen. In the event that you receive a shoplifting charge of any severity, it is important to take your defense seriously to ensure the most favorable outcome possible.