Shoplifting charges in Bloomington are relatively common, but they can be severe. This offense falls within the theft statute under state law, and the severity of the penalties can depend on the value or type of property taken. If you are accused of a shoplifting offense, it can be incredibly important to have a strong defense lawyer at your side throughout the entire process.
A Bloomington shoplifting lawyer could help you develop a defense based on the specific details of your case.
Shoplifting Law in Minnesota
Under state law, shoplifting is a type of theft offense and is classified with many other theft offenses. Reading and understanding the law is complex and difficult, and it requires legal experience to know what type of offense a defendant may face. While the word “shoplifting” is never actually mentioned in the state statutes, the action is still a crime a defendant can be charged with.
Shoplifting occurs when a person intentionally conceals, takes, transfers, or retains a tangible item without the consent of the owner. Shoplifting does not have to occur in a “shop,” store, or any other specific place. It can happen at any time, so long as the elements of the offense are met.
Examples of Shoplifting
While some examples of shoplifting may seem obvious, others are more complex. This crime includes more than simply taking items from the owner. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Stealing items from a store
- Eating or drinking food that is unpaid for
- Switching a price tag from a cheaper item to a more expensive one
- Using false representation to obtain an item
These factors show that many types of conduct may be considered shoplifting under state law. A defendant faced with these charges may need a knowledgeable shoplifting defense attorney in the Bloomington area to properly defend themselves.
Penalties for Shoplifting
Charges and penalties for shoplifting depend on the total value of the items stolen. If a person steals multiple items, the value of those items can be “aggregated” or added up to determine the value element for sentencing. Generally, the higher the total value, the higher the potential penalties a defendant will face.
If the items were worth less than $500, a person may face:
- 90 days in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- A misdemeanor charge
If the items were worth between $500 to $1,000, a person may face:
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to $3,000 in fines
- A gross misdemeanor charge
If the items were worth between $1,000 to $5,000, a person may face:
- Up to five years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- A felony charge
If the item was worth between $5,000 and $35,000, a person may face:
- Up to ten years in prison
- Fines of up to $20,000
- A felony charge
If the items were worth more than $35,000, a person may face:
- Up to twenty years in prison
- Fines of up to $100,000
- A felony charge
Any of the above charges can follow a defendant for the rest of their life. Nearby legal counsel may be necessary in order to protect against the worst possible scenarios in a shoplifting case.
Reach out to a Bloomington Shoplifting Defense Attorney
You deserve to have your case analyzed by a skilled attorney. Every case is different, and yours should have individualized attention from an experienced Bloomington shoplifting lawyer who is familiar with the most successful defense strategies for these situations. Call now to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team.