Friday, January 10, 2014

Is Shoplifting a Serious Crime?

The simple answer: yes, shoplifting is a serious offense and should not be treated lightly. A person is guilty of shoplifting if they intentionally steal, take, or carry away a store’s property.

In Nevada, the crime of shoplifting falls under either NRS 205.220 (grand larceny) or NRS 205.240 (petty larceny), depending upon the value of the item taken.

Petty Larceny

If you are accused of shoplifting property worth less than $650, you will be charged with petty larceny. Petty larceny is a misdemeanor, punishable by:
  • Restitution of the stolen property
  • Maximum fines of $1,000; and/or
  • Up to 6 months in county jail

Grand Larceny

Grand larceny will be charged if you are accused of shoplifting property worth $650 or more. The degree of the charge and the potential penalties are dependent upon the exact value of the property that was shoplifted.

Property Valued Between $650 and $3,500 – Category C Felony
The penalties for a Category C Felony shoplifting charge include:
  • Restitution of the stolen property
  • Maximum fines of $10,000
  • 1 to 5 years in state prison

Property Valued at $3,500 or More – Category B Felony
The penalties for a Category B Felony shoplifting charge include:
  • Restitution of the stolen property
  • Maximum fines of $10,000
  • 1 to 10 years in state prison

Defenses for Shoplifting

There are various defenses that can be used to fight shoplifting charges in Nevada. Some of the most common defenses include:
  • You already owned the property in question. Perhaps the store’s staff mistook items you already owned as their property.
  • Mistaken identity. In some cases the store’s staff confuses an innocent person with a shoplifter because they have similar features, are wearing similar clothes, or were in the area where the theft occurred.
  • No intent. You may have forgotten that you were holding an item and walked out of the store without paying for it. In such a case, you had no intent to steal the store’s property, and you are not guilty of shoplifting.
If you are charged with theft in the Las Vegas area, make sure you have a powerful defense team on your side. Call our firm to discuss your case or visit our Shoplifting page for more information!