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Shoplifting is a somewhat common but serious crime. It can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, often depending on the value of the shoplifted item. Petty theft, or taking an item worth less than a certain dollar amount, is usually charged as a misdemeanor. Items taken of value over that specified amount is usually charged as grand theft, which is a felony. Shoplifting charges can result in a variety of consequences, ranging from probation to fines to restitution or even jail time. Store owners who suspect a person of shoplifting generally have the right to detain the suspects and conduct their own investigation, though it must be reasonable. More thorough investigations would usually require the police to get involved. Store owners generally contact the police for assistance. Information gained during the investigation can be used against the suspect in criminal proceedings. If you’re involved in a shoplifting charge, contact an attorney in your area for more information about how to protect your legal rights.

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