If you have a habit of taking things that don’t belong to you, you should know the risks of this behavior.
Stolen merchandise in Missouri can result in big penalties, whether you’ve taken goods from a merchant or another resident of Missouri.
Shoplifting and theft
Shoplifting generally refers to taking money, merchandise, or property from a merchant. However, altering or removing a price tag, label or product code generally counts as retail theft too.
In Missouri, charges for shoplifting fall under the same laws for general theft. Theft charges can be pressed when an individual takes property from someone else without permission.
According to Missouri law, the value of the stolen items is typically used to determine the sentence a perpetrator may face. However, these penalties may be heightened depending on the defendant’s criminal history.
A judge can choose whether the theft will be issued as felony or misdemeanor charges. The lowest penalty a person can receive for theft is a class D misdemeanor charge. This can be given if the value of the items stolen was less than $150 and the person has no previous stealing-related convictions. If more than $150 worth of goods were taken, misdemeanor or felony charges could both include jail time and a much higher fine.
A life-long impact
A theft charge on your record — whether it be a misdemeanor or felony — can impact your job, housing and education opportunities.
If you are facing legal action for shoplifting, contact an attorney for help. A lawyer will explain your rights and help you fight for the best outcome in court.