1- What does Virginia Code of Law say?
Virginia Code §18.2-103 defines shoplifting as taking possession of goods from a shop with the intention of using these, without having paid for them. Another form of theft that is covered under this code is when the price tags are swapped to make products more expensive or affordable.
Shoplifting is a form of theft and robbery where an individual steals something from any kind of retail store. The charges against the individual will be categorized either as a misdemeanor or as a felony. The distinction mostly depends on the kinds of items stolen. In either of the cases, a conviction will leave an individual with a criminal record.
The statute adds that shoplifting involves that person to be charged with shoplifting prior to leaving the premises of the store. If the individual has left the premises of the store, he will not be accused of stealing the product neither will he be convicted.
2- The penalties defined in the code for shoplifting.
The penalties mostly depend on the value of the merchandise that has been stolen.
A- Anything that has a worth of less than $200 will be considered as a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The individual has to pay $2,500 and/or a prison time of around 1 year.
B- Anything that has a value of more than $200 will be considered as an Unclassified Felony. This leads to imprisonment of the individual and a maximum prison time of 20 years. This may be flexible depending on the jury or judge to sentence the preparatory for less than one year and will face a fine of up to $2,500.
Under Virginian Code 8.01-44.4, the merchant can file a suit against the individual who has stolen the items from the shop. The merchant is allowed to file the case and tell a price twice the amount of the shoplifted good. The minimum judgment is $50, but for goods that may be resold post rucksack, the judgment has been increased to $350. A civil suit may be filed and initiated by the merchant, irrespective of a guilty plea.
3- The repercussions
Shoplifting is an offense that can lead an individual to face serious damage. While having a criminal record, what can one expect? The career of the individual will be at stake, a security clearance may become a big problem, and renting out a house will become even more troublesome. If the individual ends up being sued by a merchant, his life may become a living hell, speaking in terms of pure honesty.
It is recommended for every individual that he should seek professional assistance from a lawyer against shoplifting charges as soon as something like this comes forward. A well-versed lawyer can help the individual in requesting the judge for some leniency on the matter and its overwhelming penalties.