In Rhode Island, Shoplifting is a misdemeanor crime that is taken very seriously. Shoplifting includes any kind of criminal activity that involves an intent to steal from a merchant. Examples include stealing store items, altering price tags, and removing shopping carts beyond permitted areas. If you are caught committing any of these acts, you may be charged with Shoplifting and, if convicted, you face having a criminal record and possible jail time. If you are charged with Shoplifting in Rhode Island, you do not have to fight the charges alone. Contact Rhode Island Shoplifting Attorney, David Ellison, today at (401) 230-5520 and let him use his Rhode Island criminal defense experience to fight your case.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR SHOPLIFTING IN RHODE ISLAND?
As a misdemeanor crime, Shoplifting comes with potential consequences including:
- Fine from $50 up to $500; and
- Up to 1 year in jail (first offense)
- potential criminal conviction
- potential probation
However, if the retail value of the stolen merchandise is over $100, and you have previously been convicted for shoplifting, you will be charged with a felony and, thus, subject to the following penalties:
- Fine up to $5,000; and
- Imprisonment up to 5 years
- potential felony criminal conviction
- potential probation
For a third or subsequent offense, you are deemed under Rhode Island law to be a Habitual Offender. Per the statute, habitual offenders are subject to the following penalties:
- Fine between $200 and $500; and
- Imprisonment for not less than 6 months but not more than 1 year.
You may also be sued by the victim for money damages up to the retail value of the stolen merchandise.
NO-TRESPASS ORDERS IN RHODE ISLAND
If you are arrested and charged with shoplifting, the merchant will likely issue a no-trespass order forbidding you from returning to the store. It is also common for the Court to issue a no-trespass order as part of its sentence. Subsequent violations of a no-trespass order can lead to new criminal offenses and violations of probation.
DEFENSES TO SHOLIFTING CHARGES IN RHODE ISLAND
Each Shoplifting case is unique. Therefore, the specifics of every Shoplifting charge are different and will determine which defense is best for you.
One common defense is that the shoplifting was simply an accident, particularly in cases where there is a self-checkout process involved. Another common defense is that the shoplifting did not pass all points of purchase. There may also be issues with the way you are apprehended by a merchant that can be used as a defense. There are procedures that must be followed by the merchant or shopkeeper that, if not followed, can help you defend yourself against a shoplifting charge. Call Attorney David Ellison today and let him examine your case to determine the best possible defense.
DISMISSAL OF SHOPLIFTING CHARGES
The decision to dismiss a shoplifting case is generally at the discretion of the prosecutor. Usually, when a prosecutor agrees to dismiss a case, it is because the prosecutor has negotiated with the defendant and/or their attorney, and the prosecutor agrees that the charge will be dismissed upon completion of certain conditions. You can have an attorney who has taken part in these negotiations before help you with your case.
CONFRONTING SHOPLIFTING CHARGES
If you are accused of Shoplifting, you can have an attorney represent you. Because of possible imprisonment, fines, civil penalties, and even immigration consequences, you can have an experienced criminal defense lawyer, who understands these ramifications, represent you to fight for your rights.
David Ellison is an experienced Shoplifting Attorney. He will work hard to put together a strong defense for your case and will formulate the best plan of action. He will also discuss your options with you so you will know exactly what to expect moving forward with these charges. Contact David at (401) 230-5520 if you or a loved one has been accused of Shoplifting.