Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Local Woman Arrested for Felony Shoplifting at Athens Store

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 07, 2020 | 0 Comments

Athens-Clarke County Courthouse

Athens, Ga. - Athens police confronted a woman who was accused of shoplifting from a local area Target location.

According to police, the woman handed the officers a receipt when they approached her in the parking lot. The receipt displayed that she had bought over thirty tubs of Play-Doh. However, there was no sign of any Play-Doh in her bags. She allegedly used a 55-cent Play-Doh bar code 32 times at a self-checkout kiosk which resulted in her leaving the store with over $500 worth of retail.

Theft crimes in Georgia can be complicated as there are many different types. As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the theft crime that the woman in the story above has been accused of committing - shoplifting. I will also show how it can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense depending on the circumstances of the crime.

Shoplifting in Georgia

Shoplifting in Georgia is defined in the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. § 16-8-14 as:

Performing certain actions with the intent of taking merchandise without paying for it or depriving the owner of possession of the merchandise or its value.

In Georgia, the most commonly reported type of shoplifting is when one walks out of a store without paying for the items. However, there are many other types of shoplifting. The law defining shoplifting outlines the following ways:

  • Concealing or taking possession of merchandise of any store
  • Altering price tags
  • Switching price tags
  • Wrongfully causing the amount to be paid to be lower than it is supposed to
  • Or moving merchandise into a different container.

This is where shoplifting is very different from other theft crimes. The state of Georgia has very specific penalties for shoplifting. It is similar to other theft crimes in that it can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony based upon the value of the items stolen, as well as any aggravating circumstances of the crime. Also, repeat offenders of shoplifting will face harsher penalties.



Shoplifting property with a total value of $500 or less

Classified as a misdemeanor and a fine up to $1,000.00 and/or up to one year in jail

A 2nd conviction for Shoplifting property with a total value of $500 or less. (The first conviction could either be a felony or misdemeanor)

Classified as a misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and possibly a prison sentence

Shoplifting property with two prior convictions of shoplifting (either misdemeanor or felony) with a value of $500 or less

Classified as a misdemeanor. The Court will impose a fine and the accused will be punished by a prison term for no less than 30 days or confinement in a probation detention center, diversion program, or another program for a period of 120 days or shall be sentenced to monitored house arrest for a period of 120 days, and could be required to undergo psychological evaluation

Shoplifting property valued at less than $500 with three prior convictions of shoplifting (either misdemeanor or felony)

Classified as a felony with fines at the court discretion. Jail time between one and ten years with the first year mandatory

Shoplifting property with a total value of more than $500

Classified as a felony with fines at the court's discretion and between one to ten years in jail

Shoplifting property from three separate stores within one county during a period of seven days or less, and property from each store exceeds $100 in value

Classified as a felony with fines at the court's discretion and between one to ten years in jail.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense and Criminal Defense. As a former Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. In DUI cases, you only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.


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