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Is shoplifting really that serious of a crime?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Criminal Defense

People regard shoplifting as a “less serious” kind of crime. Some even consider it a rite of passage for teens. However, shoplifting in Maryland can result in serious criminal charges. 

If you have been charged with shoplifting, then it is crucial to know where you stand legally.

What are the penalties for shoplifting in Maryland?

The penalties for shoplifting vary, depending on the total cost of the stolen merchandise. According to Section 7-104 of Maryland’s Criminal Code, the penalties are as follows:

  • Misdemeanors:
    • Stolen goods or services cost less than $100. The maximum sentence is a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.
    • Stolen goods or services cost between $100 and $1,500. The sentence is a $500 fine and up to six months in jail. The maximum sentence for a second or subsequent offense is one year in prison.
      • Repeat offenders convicted four or more times will be charged a $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail when the stolen merchandise is valued at less than $1500.  
  • Felonies:
    • Stolen goods or services cost between $1,500 and less than $25,000. The sentence is five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
    • Stolen goods or services cost between $25,000 and $100,000. This carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $15,000 fine.
    • Stolen goods or services valued at $100,000 or more carry a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 20 years in jail.

The charges will appear on your criminal record and could make finding a job or a place to live difficult. With stakes this high, you’ll need to seek assistance if you’ve been charged with shoplifting. 

 

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