What Criminal Penalties Can I Face for Shoplifting in Connecticut?
Taking something from a store without paying for it is a crime. However, shoplifting is shockingly common. Some studies report that as many as one in 11 people have stolen merchandise from a retail store at least once in their lives. Many people think that shoplifting cannot result in severe criminal penalties. They assume that the act will only get them a slap on the wrist. In reality, shoplifting can lead to considerable consequences, including jail time.
Is Shoplifting a Misdemeanor or Felony in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, shoplifting is one of several offenses categorized as larceny, meaning the wrongful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. The severity of a larceny charge is determined by the value of the goods allegedly stolen. According to Connecticut law:
Theft of goods valued at $500 or less is a Class C misdemeanor, with penalties of up to three months in jail and a $500 fine.
Theft of goods valued between $500 and $1,000 is a Class B misdemeanor, with penalties of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Theft of goods valued between $1,000 and $2,000 is a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties of up to one year in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.
Theft of goods valued between $2,000 and $10,000 is a Class D felony offense, with possible penalties of up to five years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.
Theft of goods valued between $10,000 and $20,000 is a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Theft of goods valued at over $20,000 is a Class B felony, with penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.
In some cases, theft of low-value goods may still be charged as a felony. If the alleged offender is a “persistent larceny offender” who has committed misdemeanor larceny two times in the past, the offender may be charged with a Class D felony and sentenced to up to five years in prison. It is also a misdemeanor crime in Connecticut to possess a shoplifting device, such as a “booster bag” designed to thwart antitheft sensors.
Contact a Fairfield County Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
If you have been accused of shoplifting, do not take these charges lightly. You could face significant fines, a permanent criminal record, and even jail time. At the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner, our Stamford, CT criminal defense attorney can help you defend yourself against shoplifting charges. Contact us today at 203-348-5846 for a free, confidential case review.