Mississippi Code Annotated § 97-23-93 deals with shoplifting.
A person may be guilty of shoplifting if that person willfully and unlawfully takes possession of merchandise owned or held and offered or displayed for sale by any merchant or store for the purpose of converting the merchandise to the person’s own use without paying the merchant’s stated price.
A first or second conviction for shoplifting merchandise valued at five hundred dollars ($500) or less will result in that person being fined up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisoned up to six (6) months, or both.
A third conviction for shoplifting merchandise valued at five hundred dollars ($500) or less will be considered a felony, and the person convicted may be punished by a fine of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) or imprisonment of up to five (5) years, or both.
A person convicted of shoplifting merchandise valued at more than five hundred dollars ($500) will be guilty of a felony, and will be fined up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or imprisoned for up to ten (10) years, or both.
Shoplifting charges are treated very seriously, and stores usually push for an alleged offender to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In most cases, a person charged with shoplifting will not be allowed to reenter the store where the alleged shoplifting took place.
If you have been charged with shoplifting, you may have defenses available to you. It is important that you have a qualified lawyer representing you and looking out for your rights. Call us and set up an appointment to talk about your case.