Going shopping is a fun activity for many people. However, it comes with some level of temptation. Before you head out to the store, you should have an idea of what you are willing to spend. Make sure that you stick to considering things only if they are in your price range.
No matter what, you should never try to take things from a store without paying for them. You could be charged with shoplifting. It is sometimes possible to face a criminal charge even if you don’t actively try to leave the store.
Definition of shoplifting in South Carolina
In the simplest terms, shoplifting is seen as larceny. It only requires that a person try to conceal merchandise: for example, if you stick a shirt inside of a cooler you are purchasing or throw a lipstick inside of a purse you plan to purchase. You can face criminal charges.
Changing price tags or barcodes can also be construed as shoplifting since these can deprive the merchant of the proceeds of the full sale price. The perception of your intention and actions matters.
Value of the items
The value of the merchandise you are accused of shoplifting impacts the charge and penalties. A value of less than $2,000 is petit larceny, which is a misdemeanor. Anything over that is grand larceny, a felony.
The value of the merchandise is the total in question for a single incident. If you are charged with trying to take 10 suits with a value of $100 each, you will face petit larceny. If you attempt to take more than 20 suits, you will be charged with grand larceny.
- Up to $2,000 value: Up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- $2,000 to $10,000 value: Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000
- More than $10,000 value: Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000
If you are facing a shoplifting charge, remember that your defense is important. Even if the charge is petit larceny, you are still looking at some serious impacts that might go far beyond the jail time and fines. Make sure you consider this when you are planning your strategy.