Types of Shoplifting in Georgia

Shoplifting is the most common act of theft investigated by law enforcement. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) over 13 billion dollars is lost to retail theft every year and over 10 million people have been arrested for shoplifting since 2008. A quarter of all those arrested for shoplifting are juveniles, three quarters are adults, and more than half are repeat offenders.

In order for the State to successfully prosecute cases of shoplifting, it must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt certain types of wrongdoing. If the State cannot do this, then it is appropriate to dismiss the case, or for a jury to hand down a verdict of not guilty. With more than 21 years’ experience, I have learned valuable ways to help my clients avoid criminal convictions for shoplifting or, alternatively, to weather and manage the consequences should the State’s evidence be difficult to overcome. If you or a loved one has been arrested for shoplifting, you can fill out the form, or contact me any time for a free consultation by calling (678) 561-0411.


A very common misconception is that a person must actually leave a store with merchandise to be prosecuted for shoplifting. This is not true.

O.C.G.A. 16-8-14 basically proscribes five acts that constitute shoplifting.

Taking merchandise directly from the store or concealing the merchandise with the intent to steal it;

Altering the price tag of merchandise with the intent of denying the store the true value of the merchandise;

Transferring merchandise from one container to another with the intent of stealing the merchandise;

Interchanging price tag from one piece of merchandise with the price tag of another piece of merchandise; or

Wrongfully paying less than the store’s stated price for the merchandise.

The type of shoplifting and the value of the merchandise alleged to be taken are important to know. Factors such as whether or not this was your first or a subsequent offense for shoplifting and whether or not you have ever been arrested for any other type of offense in the past are also very important.

For first time offenders, pre-trial intervention and diversion programs are generally the best ways to resolve the case.

Don’t hesitate to call me any time (678) 561-0411. Consultation is free and I am happy to discuss the particular facts of your case, what your options might be, and what my plan might be for your defense.

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Hirsch Criminal Defense serves people charged with crimes in Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan area...

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