Maryland Shoplifting Lawyer

Given that there is no specific statute for shoplifting in Maryland, the offense is typically charged under the theft statute. The elements of theft are the taking of property that belongs to another individual with no intention of ever returning it. Shoplifting may include taking property from a store, business, or a shop. Accused individuals may benefit from speaking with a Maryland shoplifting lawyer to learn their rights. While shoplifting convictions may lead to significant fines and potential jail time for the accused, a skilled defense attorney could build a person’s defense case and fight tirelessly on their behalf.

Differences Between Shoplifting and Larceny in Maryland

In Maryland, shoplifting is considered a form of theft. While there is no specific statute addressing the conduct of shoplifting per se, it is considered a form of theft and it is charged under the consolidated statute under Maryland’s Criminal Code. The State basically combines shoplifting and various types of theft under one statute. There is no larceny extending to a higher specific statute. They are both considered different examples of theft.

Potential Penalties of Shoplifting Conviction

The range of criminal penalties for shoplifting hinges upon the amount or the value of the shoplifted property. In theory, the sentenced jail time could range between a few months or even several years. Other consequences include the potential of probation without a jail sentence or probation after a period of incarceration. There may also be fines and court costs and a person may be required to pay or make restitution to the business after they are convicted. It is very common for the individual to be barred from returning to that business ever again. If it is a chain or several locations for that business in the county or jurisdiction, the individual might be barred from returning from all of those locations. No matter which shoplifting penalties an accused person faces, a Maryland attorney could provide the legal representation they need to dispute the allegations.

Possible Consequences of Misdemeanor Charges

If convicted, Shoplifting in Maryland is considered a misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is under $1,500.00 with a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail. Additional penalties to the potential periods of probation may occur in the form of fines, court costs, and having to pay restitution to the establishment that had been allegedly victimized. The person could also be banned from ever returning to the business in question.

Under What Circumstances Might Shoplifting be Considered a Felony?

Felony theft is charged based upon the value of the property taken. If the value is over $1,500, it is considered felony theft. The penalty depends upon the actual amount, which is divided into three different tiers. A shoplifting attorney in Maryland could review a defendant’s case to see which legal defenses the accused could use in court.

  • If the value is between $1,500 and $10,000, the maximum penalty is 10 years
  • If the theft amount is between $10,000 and $100,000, the maximum penalty is 15 years
  • If the amount or value is over $100,000, the penalty is over 25 years.

Consequences for Second-Time Offenders

Maryland has several Diversion Programs available for those facing shoplifting charges. There is a specific program called a Theft Diversion Program that is offered in many counties. A first-time offender could negotiate a resolution to the case with the help of their attorney so that when the defendant successfully completes this program, the charges against them will be dismissed.

There are a few different ways this could be accomplished. While it is not guaranteed, many jurisdictions offer this program and for the majority of first-time offenders who are accused of shoplifting. This is notably true if the individual is facing a misdemeanor or a relatively small amount of property that was alleged to have been taken. Most of these individuals are considered eligible by the prosecutor’s office for a Theft Diversion Program or, very often, the attorney is able to negotiate a similar resolution through the program or through community service.

For second-time offenders, the opportunity to resolve the case through one of these programs could be much smaller. The court and the prosecutor typically do not offer those options to second-time offenders.

Let a Maryland Shoplifting Lawyer Help

Allegations of shoplifting could lead to numerous consequences for the accused. No matter how a person is charged, a conviction may significantly impact their career and may leave them with significant financial and legal burdens. Speak to a well-practiced Maryland shoplifting attorney to learn your options following a criminal charge. A skilled lawyer seasoned attorney could champion a person’s case and fight tirelessly on their case.

Maryland Shoplifting Lawyer