What are the shoplifting laws in Maine?
Shoplifting is a crime not just in the state of Maine, but also across the United States. While most people know it for a fact, what they don’t know is they could be accused of the crime even if they committed it accidentally. There are several instances during which this can happen, and the accidental shoplifter could be facing severe charges as finds himself or herself on the wrong side of the law. The reason is simple. There’s no question of accidental shoplifting in a state like Maine, which means when someone commits the crime, he or she does it with intention, even if it was accidental. So, proving that the incident was an accident could be hard.
Maine Shoplifting Laws
The state of Maine does not have a specific law against shoplifting and the crime comes under the law of larceny. In addition to shoplifting, the law of larceny also constitutes larceny by trick, bailee, embezzlement, pretenses, extortion, blackmail, and receiving stolen property. The evidence collected can be produced as proof of shoplifting in the courts. If the courts feel such evidence is strong enough, they may proceed with pressing charges against the guilty. The sentences or punishments for shoplifting vary depending on the severity of the case as well as the value of the items or goods stolen.
Penalties for Shoplifting in Maine
No matter how small a case of shoplifting may be, it is still a serious offense in the state of Maine and can attract time in prison in addition to paying hefty fines. However, the severity of the punishments depends on the value of the items shoplifted. Typically, shoplifting items worth less than $500 is a Class E felony, the lowest of crimes, and is punishable by six months imprisonment and by imposing up to $1,000 in fines.
However, there are several other cases where shoplifting can account for a more serious Class B felony. Although uncommon, a Class B felony occurs when items worth $10,000 are stolen. Furthermore, if the items stolen involves a firearm or other weapon, then too, it is a Class B felony. A person charged with a Class B felony in the state of Maine can be incarcerated for not more than ten years and may also have to pay a fine not exceeding $20,000.
If the value of the items stolen is between $1,000 and $10,000, it is considered a Class C felony. Similarly, if the items stolen are valued anywhere between $500 and $1,000, then Class D felony charges can be pressed. A Class C crime in Maine can result in incarceration for not more than five years in addition to paying fines amounting to $5,000. While for a Class D crime, the incarceration period is less than one year, and the fine imposed is not more than $2,000.
The penalties for shoplifting in a state like Maine also depend on the shoplifter’s criminal history. If the offender already has two or more convictions, he or she can be charged with a Class C felony.
All shoplifters who have been given incarceration sentences must serve time at the Maine Department of Corrections for the length prescribed along with paying hefty fines. Such incarcerations can bear a negative impact on the person’s image and reputation. They can also have consequences for the offender’s employability as employers would refrain from hiring such people. So, while it is better to stay away from shoplifting in Maine or any other place, you can always talk to your attorney if you find yourself caught up in one. Your attorney can help you lessen the sentences, or in some cases, even drop the charges.
Find Maine Criminal Records with GoLookUp!