What Are Shoplifting Laws in Indiana?
A majority of people think shoplifting is not an offense to be taken seriously. However, a person who has been convicted of this criminal offense may have to pay hefty fines, as well as, serve prison time. The guilty may have to also reimburse the shop in question for up to thrice the amount of the value of the goods being stolen by the accused. There are some situations where the convicted may have to face felony charges, which can be highly damaging for their future career.
In Indiana, shoplifting and theft are considered to be the same offense. As there is no distinct statute for the offense of shoplifting in the state, a person who steals something from any retail establishment or a shop can be punished under the theft laws of Indiana. According to the law of Indiana, a person may be slapped with theft charges when there is proof that he/she purposely established unauthorized control over the property of someone else with the intention of depriving the owner of that property the use or value of that property.
The state includes shoplifting within this definition as in case the defendant takes merchandise from a shop and does not pay, he/she is taking the property of that store without their consent and also deprive the establishment of the retail value of that good. In Indiana, the punishments for shoplifting will be based on the count of convictions the guilty had, as well as the value of the items allegedly robbed by that person.
Comparison between Theft and Conversion
A shoplifter in the state can be sued for the less severe crime of conversion i.e. Class A misdemeanor rather than theft, which is considered a felony. Conversion is a term, which is often used to refer to an intentional tort. At the same time, it should be noted that conversion is also a crime. According to Indiana law, the offense of criminal conversion is slapped on an individual when he/she is accused of intentionally or knowingly exerting illegal control over another person's property.
On the other hand, the crime of theft is defined as intentionally or knowingly exerting illegal control over another person's property with the intention of depriving the other individual of its use or value. The major distinction between these two is that a thief has the intention of depriving the property owner of any part of the use or value of the property stolen.
When it is a first-time offense for the guilty or the property's value is low. It is possible for the prosecution to slap conversion charges on the offender, which is the Class A misdemeanor. When the cases are more severe, the prosecution may charge the shoplifter in question with Class D or Class C felony theft, based on the merchandise's value.
In Indiana, shoplifting is regarded as a severe criminal offense with criminal punishments that include fines and prison time. Also, the plaintiff can prosecute the shoplifts in a civil court to recover their damages.
- When the value of the property is below 750 USD, it is regarded as the Class A misdemeanor and is penalized by a maximum fine of 5,000 USD and maximum jail time of one year.
- When the value of the property is between 750 USD and 49,999 USD, it is a level 6 felony in the state. The convicted is penalized by serving a minimum county jail term of 180 days, as well as, a maximum period of 2.5 years in a corrections facility.
- When the value of the property is at least 50,000 USD or more, the state law considers it a Level 5 felony. The convicted has to pay a maximum fine of 10,000 USD and up to six years of prison term.