Carlos Lozano and his wife, Flor Poveda, allegedly shoplifted from various store in North Point Mall in Alpharetta (Fulton County). Store employees called police when they witnessed both parents taking articles of clothing and placing them into the stroller with the small children and then leaving the store.
Both Lozano and Poveda are facing felony shoplifting charges.
Shoplifting is a more serious crime than people tend to think. It is important to retain a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney if facing a shoplifting charge. Shoplifting can carry substantial penalties such as fines, civil lawsuit damages, and jail time.
The most common form of shoplifting is described in the news story above where someone just walks out of a store without paying for items. You can also be charged with shoplifting if you conceal merchandise, alter price tags, switch price tags, or move merchandise to a different container.
In today's post, I will focus on the law behind shoplifting in our state.
Shoplifting in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines shoplifting in Georgia 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. O.C.G.A. §16-8-14.
In order to be convicted of shoplifting in Georgia, the prosecution must prove the accused person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecution must prove that the accused person had the intent to commit shoplifting.
Just as with other theft crimes (such as theft by taking in Georgia), shoplifting can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony offense based on the value of the item or items stolen. The Court will also take any aggravating circumstances and repeat offenses into account. The dividing line is typically $500.