Maryland Shoplifting Lawyer
If you've been arrested for shoplifting in Maryland, you may be facing serious penalties, including jail time, fines, and a criminal record. Therefore, following a shoplifting arrest, it's imperative that you obtain the assistance of an experienced Maryland shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible.
At FrizWoods, our experienced lawyers will aggressively defend you against your criminal charges, doing everything in our power to protect your rights and obtain a successful result in your Maryland criminal case. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Shoplifting in Maryland
Shoplifting in Maryland is typically charged under the state's theft statute. A person commits theft when he or she takes the property of another with the intention of keeping it.
Shoplifting is a form of theft that includes taking property from a business, store, or shop. As we discuss below, the state of Maryland takes shoplifting seriously, and those found guilty of this crime often face serious consequences.
Maryland Shoplifting Penalties
The criminal penalties that a person may face for shoplifting depend on the amount or the value of the property taken. Jail time for shoplifting can range from a few months to several years.
Additional consequences of shoplifting in the state of Maryland include probation, fines, court costs, and restitution to the affected business. In addition, once a person steals from a location, it is common for he or she to be barred from returning to that business ever again.
In fact, if a person steals from a chain or a business with multiple locations, the individual may be barred from returning to any of those locations. Depending on the circumstances and value of the property taken, a shoplifting arrest can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
However, regardless of the shoplifting penalties an accused individual faces, an experienced Maryland shoplifting attorney can provide the legal representation needed to dispute the allegations in court.
Misdemeanor Charges for Shoplifting
Shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor if the value of the property taken is less than $1,500.00. Maryland has two separate misdemenor theft catagories:
Theft under $100 punishable by up to 90 days of incarceration and a $500 fine
Theft: $100 To Under $1,500 punishable by up to six months of incarceration and a $500 fine
Additional penalties for a misdemeanor shoplifting conviction include fines, court costs, and paying restitution to the victimized establishment.
Felony Charges for Shoplifting
A person may be charged with a felony for shoplifting in Maryland if the value of the property taken is over $1,500. The penalty imposed on an offender depends upon the actual amount stolen. Specifically, felonies are assessed for shoplifting in the state of Maryland as follows:
If the value of the property taken is between $1,500 and $10,000, the maximum period of incarceration is 10 years.
If value of the property taken is between $10,000 and $100,000, the maximum period of incarceration is 15 years.
If the value of the property taken is over $100,000, the maximum period of incarceration is over 25 years.
Shoplifting Diversion Programs
The state of Maryland has several diversion programs available for individuals facing shoplifting charges. In many cases, a first-time shoplifting offender, with the assistance of his or her Maryland shoplifting attorney, can negotiate a resolution to his or her case by participating in a diversion program.
Often, the state drops all charges against an offender once he or she completes a diversion program. And although participation in a diversion program is not guaranteed, many jurisdictions offer this program for most first-time offenders who are accused of shoplifting, particularly for those individuals facing a misdemeanor shoplifting charge for a relatively small amount of property that was allegedly stolen. Unfortunately, however, for second-time offenders, the opportunity to participate in diversion programs is often limited.
Although exceptions are occasionally made, courts and prosecutors don't typically provide second-time offenders with the opportunity to participate in such programs.
What Can a Maryland Shoplifting Lawyer Do for Me?
If you are convicted of shoplifting in Maryland, you face steep penalties, including incarceration, fines, and restitution. Unfortunately, prosecutors are often highly motivated to turn shoplifting charges into shoplifting convictions. Unless you have years of legal experience, your odds of obtaining a successful result in your Maryland shoplifting case are slim.
However, with an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney in your corner, your odds of a successful outcome in your case increase drastically.
When you hire a Maryland theft lawyer to represent you in your shoplifting case, he or she will aggressively fight your shoplifting charge, assert all available defenses, and protect your rights as your case moves through the criminal law process.
How to Choose a Maryland Shoplifting Lawyer
If you need legal representation in your Maryland shoplifting case, it is imperative that you choose the right attorney-the success of your case can depend on it. So, the shoplifting lawyer you choose to represent you in your case should meet specific criteria to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of success in your Maryland theft case.
When choosing a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in your shoplifting case, you should do the following:
Choose a lawyer who specializes in criminal defense law:
First, the lawyer you choose should devote a large percentage of his practice to criminal defense law. Criminal and civil law are quite different, so your attorney must have significant experience in the area of criminal defense law in order to give you the best chance at a successful outcome. In other words, if you are facing criminal charges, you shouldn't hire an attorney to represent you who specializes in estate planning or family law.
Choose a lawyer with significant shoplifting defense experience:
Not only should your attorney devote all or most of his practice to criminal defense law, but he should have significant experience defending clients against shoplifting and other types of theft charges. Successfully defending clients against these types of charges requires years of specialized knowledge and experience, so you should ensure that the attorney you pick is a seasoned shoplifting and theft defense veteran.
Choose a lawyer with a long track record of success:
Finally, the lawyer you hire should have a long track record of successfully defending clients against theft-related charges in the state of Maryland. And although no attorney should ever guarantee a particular result in your case, a long track record of success is a very good sign that you've found the right attorney to handle your shoplifting case.
Let a Maryland Shoplifting Lawyer Help
If you are facing a shoplifting charge in the state of Maryland, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner. At FrizWoods, we take great pride in the fact that we are one of the most accessible criminal defense law firms in the state of Maryland.
Through our 24-hour attorney line, you can reach us any time of the day, seven days a week. Experienced and knowledgeable shoplifting attorneys Max Frizalone and Luke Woods have a deep and thorough understanding of the Maryland criminal law process, and we will use this broad knowledge to provide you with the most effective legal representation possible in your shoplifting case.
So, if you are in need of assistance with your Maryland shoplifting case, please contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our talented Maryland shoplifting defense attorneys.