What are Shoplifting Laws in Ohio?
While the shoplifting term has been used to widely describe robbing of items from a retail shop. It is imperative to realize that the state does not have a distinct law for shoplifting. Instead, retail theft has been described within the general theft statute of the state. It is crucial to understand that many people have the misconception that shoplifting is a less severe criminal offense in comparison to theft. Rather, shoplifting can be a felony or a misdemeanor based on the stolen item's value.
To put it simply, shoplifting has a reputation for being a frivolous and victimless criminal offense. There are several occasions when people do not take it seriously with many websites offering tips on ways of doing it and not get caught. Yet having this perception, people who are found guilty of shoplifting can be punished through fines, prison sentences, and have to even pay civil damages to business owners.
In case a person has committed the crime of shoplifting in the state of Ohio, he/she may be slapped with charges of the theft laws of the state as there is no distinct law for shoplifting. What is also interesting to note that punishments and charges received by a shoplifter will depend on the actual value of the stolen items.
Outcomes of Being Convicted for Shoplifting
When is Shoplifting Defined as a Felony?
If shoplifting includes items whose value is 1,000 USD or greater, the shoplifting offense is considered a felony. When the stolen property's value is a minimum of 1,000 USD and below 7,500 USD, the offense is a felony of the 5th-degree. It also means a potential jail term of a maximum of 1 year, as well as, a maximum fine of 2,500 USD apart from other outcomes like restitution and probation. Also, it is not common for shoplifting to include items whose value is 7,500 USD or mote. At the same time, when higher valued items are involved, the severity of the criminal offense will be elevated while the penalties will be more severe.
When is Shoplifting Defined as a Misdemeanor?
Shoplifting in Ohio is a misdemeanor of first-degree when the value of the stolen property is below 1,000 USD.
Potential outcomes of being convicted of a misdemeanor shoplifting are as follows:
- Court costs
- A maximum fine of 1,000 USD
- A maximum jail term of 180 days
- Community service
- Restitution offered to the victim
A majority of shoplifting offenses are considered misdemeanors as the stolen property's value is below 1,000 USD. It is imperative to know that the law of the state considers all items whose values are below 1,000 USD equally. It denotes that while the sentencing court in Ohio could regard both the scenarios distinctly, it does not take any legal distinction between robbing a candy and robbing a piece of jewelry. The maximum potential sentence for these two shoplifters by the court is equal.
Penalties in Ohio
- When the value of the property is below 1,000 USD misdemeanor, there is a maximum fine of 1,000 USD and/or a maximum jail term of 180 days.
- When the value of the property is 1,000 USD or greater but below 7,500 USD, it is a 5th-degree felony and is penalized by a maximum fine of 2,500 USD and/or a jail term between 6 months and 12 months.
- When the value of the property is at least 7.500 USD but below 150,0000 USD, it is regarded as grand theft and is a 4th-degree felony and the convicted is punished by a maximum fine of 5,000 USD and/or a jail term between 6 months to 18 months.
- When the value of the property is greater than equal to 150,000 but below 750,000 USD, it is a 3rd-degree felony and the convicted can pay a maximum fine of 10,000 USD and/or a jail term between 1 and 5 years.