When you hear the term “shoplifting,” you may think about taking a few pieces of gum from the store, but shoplifting also includes organized crime rings seeking to steal high-value items. Many of those caught will only face a misdemeanor. Businesses in New Jersey and around the nation are pushing for harsher punishments for those who shoplift. However, the fight does not come without its challenges. The following includes further information on this issue and how it may affect the way that companies and states punish those who shoplift.
Companies understand that changing the way people are punished for a crime takes a long time. Not only do attorneys need to be appointed, but legislators must then need to be convinced. That is why companies are turning toward the current laws to seek harsher punishments in the form of the felony threshold. According to many state laws, a misdemeanor is increased to a felony once the value of the item stolen reaches a particular amount. States across the country all have their own number pertaining to the threshold.
As companies wait for future legislation around shoplifting punishments, they continue to fight against shoplifters with their own tactics. One of those tactics includes providing letters to shoplifters that they are no longer allowed to be in a particular store. This means that once that person walks onto the property, they are immediately committing a crime. Companies state that they must do this because shoplifting punishments are often not enough to deter someone from returning and doing it again.
Shoplifting is typically considered a misdemeanor, but this charge can still have long-lasting consequences. If you are accused of shoplifting, it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.