Shoplifting

Katharine Swinson is the best I came to the Masella Law firm in 2013 with a child custody issue. I had never heard of this law firm, I just did a google search. I went in for my initial consultation and meet with Kathy, by the end of the consultation I had made my mind up that I was choosing her. Kathy knew her stuff and was willing to fight for me and my son. It was a long year and a half with out my son, but Kathy and Bob were on my side and fought for me every step of the way. In 2015 Ms. Kathy did my final hearing and won my case and got my son back home. Ms. Kathy and Bob are very professional and quick about getting things done. I would recommend them to anyone needing a family lawyer, like I said they do their best on your case and fight for you regardless of anything!!!! Best Law Firm in town!!!

Shoplifting & Retail Theft

Columbia Theft Crimes Attorney

Applying the "five finger discount" to an item in a retail store is considered a misdemeanor crime and sometimes even a felony, depending on the value of the item. If you have been accused of shoplifting or retail theft, a surprisingly harsh amount of penalties could be lined up for you if you are convicted. Contact Masella Law Firm, P.A. and speak to our Columbia criminal defense attorneys about your legal options today.

We have 21 years of legal experience. Call (803) 938-4952 now!

Shoplifting Penalties in South Carolina

Depriving a merchant of their product or the full value of their product at point of sale is considered shoplifting by South Carolina legal definitions.

The three forms of shoplifting are:

  1. Removing merchandise from a store without the intent of returning it.
  2. Changing or removing price tags to purchase an item at a lesser price.
  3. Hiding one item in the packaging of another, regardless of either item's value.

Some states will consider shoplifting a form of petty theft and therefore categorize it as an infraction. South Carolina does not have this leniency and will mark anyone accused of retail theft as someone who has committed a misdemeanor at least.

Two criminal categories of shoplifting:

  • Misdemeanor: Items stolen valued at $2,000 or less; punishable by $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail
  • Felony: Items stolen valued between $2,000 and $10,000; punishable by $1,000 fine and 5 years in prison; if the value of the stolen item is over $10,000, the prison sentence may be 10 years

Civil Penalties Paid to Alleged Victim

Someone who has been convicted of shoplifting, no matter the extent of the penalties used by the criminal justice system, can then be sued by the victim for monetary restitution in civil court. If the stolen item is not returned to the vendor or merchant in sellable condition – no damage, no use – the perpetrator can be sued for the retail price of the item, usually based on the date of the lawsuit's filing but not exceeding $1,500. Additional restitution can be granted as punitive damages, or fines to punish a convicted thief. The punitive damages in a shoplifting can be $150 or three times the listed retail price of the merchandise (not exceeding $500), depending on whichever is greater.

Protect Yourself from Excessive Penalties

Under South Carolina laws, someone could steal a CD, get convicted of shoplifting, and pay at least $150 to the vendor, $1,000 to the state, and serve 30 days in jail. If all of these punishments seem like too much, you are not alone. At Masella Law Firm, we always advocate for the fair treatment of our clients, either by minimizing their sentencing or having the case dismissed altogether.

Would you like to know more about your legal options? Get a free consultation with our Columbia theft crime lawyers by filling out an online form today.

Contact Us Today

Email Us Your Information

Contact Masella Law Firm, P.A. today to receive your initial consultation.

Name:
Email:
Phone:
Please Choose:
Message:

Meet Our Team

Our Attorneys

Practicing Since 1998
Our firm comprises dedicated attorneys who are experienced in state and federal courts.

Read Our Profiles

Why Choose Us?

  • Prompt & professional
  • We fight every fight
  • Highly reccomended by past clients

What Are You Waiting For?

Don’t leave your future in jeopardy. Contact our firm for a consultation!

Case Evaluation