When people engage in shoplifting it is often due to a lapse in judgment or incorrect belief that it is “not that big of a deal.”  However, shoplifting can have consequences which are a “big deal.”  A shoplifting arrest and conviction can lead to fines and jail time, as well as damage to your future.

Shoplifting is defined in Mississippi Code Annotated Section 97-23-93 as the unlawful taking of merchandise offered for sale by a merchant or store owner without paying the stated price for the item.  Actions that can lead to being charged for shoplifting include: 1. concealing unpurchased merchandise; 2. removing unpurchased merchandise from a store; 3. altering or removing price-markings (price tags); 4. causing the cash register or sales recording devices to reflect an amount less than the actual price.

If charged with shoplifting the punishment you may face is generally dependent upon the value of the taken merchandise.

A first or second conviction of shoplifting of merchandise with a value of $1,000.00 or less is considered a misdemeanor and can carry a fine of up to $1,000.00 and/or 6 months in jail.  However, generally, in place of jail time, the sentence of a shoplifting conviction involving merchandise with a value of $1,000.00 or less will not involve actual time in jail, but more than likely probation and/or community service.