Shoplifting may seem like a minor crime, but it is taken seriously in Maryland. A shoplifting charge will give you a permanent criminal record, which can make it difficult for you to get hired, take out a loan, or even rent an apartment. Here’s what you need to know about shoplifting laws and what to do if you or a loved one are charged with shoplifting.
Shoplifting Penalties in Maryland
The penalties for shoplifting depend greatly on the value of the items that were allegedly stolen.
Less than $100 — Results in a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail
Between $100-$1,000 — Results in a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail, with a fine of $1,000
Greater than $1,000 — Is a felony charge and results in a maximum penalty of 15 years with a $25,000 fine
Clearly, the greater the value of the items that were allegedly stolen, the harsher the penalty. Additionally, subsequent shoplifting charges may result in harsher penalties, even if the value of the items allegedly stolen is lower.
How to Handle Shoplifting Charges
If you have been accused of shoplifting, it is important that you remember your rights as a Maryland citizen. You have the right to remain silent, and you should do so. You do not have to answer questions asked by police officers, even if they make it seem as though you have no choice.
You also have the right to an attorney as soon as you are arrested, and it is important that you request one as soon as possible. Your attorney can guide you through the criminal process step-by-step and will ensure that law enforcement officers continue to abide by the required rules and procedures when questioning you and obtaining evidence.
Contact J. Christopher Llinas Today
J. Christopher Llinas is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has helped many clients get shoplifting charges dismissed entirely or reduced. He has the expertise and resources necessary to challenge the prosecution’s case at every turn, and he will provide you with a zealous defense at all stages of your case.
Whether you are an adult or a juvenile, you can trust your future in the hands of Attorney J. Christopher Llinas. He understands how frightening the criminal process can be, and is dedicated to helping you overcome the charges against you. Call today at (443) 235-5793.