What are Shoplifting laws in Louisiana?
Many stores, in fact, almost all stores that deal with groceries and other supplies provide the facility for customers to pick their own supplies. It is this place, the crime called shoplifting happens. It is the term used for denoting the unobserved robbing of items from an open retail store. It typically involves a person hiding a store item on his/her pockets, in a bag, underclothes or other places and leaving the store without paying for it. What are the laws pertaining to Shoplifting in Louisiana let us find out here:
Type of crime:
Shoplifting, in general, is considered a petty crime. So, it is done very frequently. Even though it is a common and petty crime, it does not mean that there are no consequences. In Louisiana, shoplifting can be taken seriously and taking part in such a crime can lead to criminal records in the name of the person involved.
What are the penalties?
The penalties for shoplifting in Louisiana will be decided based on the value of items robbed. Here are some details to know:
- If a person is found guilty of robbing items worth $500 or lower than this, he/she will have to bear a fine of a maximum of $500 or will have to accept imprisonment for up to six months.
- When deciding on the penalties, the prior shoplifting cases against the person will also be considered.
- In the case of a person with two or more prior shoplifting complaints to his name, he/she will have to spend a maximum of two years in jail. This should happen if the value of the stolen goods is less than or equal to $500.
- If the value is more than $500 and less than $1500, the person against whom the crime was filed will have to spend a maximum of 5 years in jail.
- If it is evaluated that the value of stolen goods is more than $1500, the person will have to spend 10 years in jail or he/she will have to face an utmost fine of $3000.
Not just criminal penalties, but the merchants have the right to sue shoplifters in civil court. They can do this for the retail value of the products stolen if not recovered in good condition. Also, they can claim damages between $50 and $450.
Plea Bargaining and pre-trial diversion:
Some counties in Louisiana have pre-trial diversion programs. These programs apply for non-violent and first-time offenders. It is a substitute for criminal prosecution. Those interested in the diversion program can request for the same. This request must be approved by the persecutor and/or the court. For the program to positively complete, the defendant will have to finish a probationary period. During this period, he should do service to the community and should make compensation. When the requirements of the program are rightly met, the court will clear the criminal charges against the person.
How should a person react to shoplifting acquisition?
If a person is accused of shoplifting in Louisiana even though he should stay calm, he should take the acquisition seriously. In case, you are accused of this activity when in a store, you should note that the shopkeeper can detain you until the police arrive. In he is detained he will have to stay at the scene and should abide by the sensible needs. Also, the person should understand the law when he is subject to a criminal accusation. When he does so, he will be in a position to create the defense in contradiction to the shoplifting charge.
Expert help for criminal charges under shoplifting laws in Louisiana will help the person accused of such charges.
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