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Shoplifting isn't a simple crime in Louisiana

The theft of goods in Louisiana is a crime that carries some harsh penalties. In fact, there is a possibility that you could face incarceration with hard labor if you are convicted of shoplifting in our state. The exact penalties you will face depend on the value of the merchandise that is involved in the case. The higher the value, the harsher the penalties. In all cases, a defense strategy that casts doubt on the prosecution's case is crucial.

One important fact to note about shoplifting charges is that the aggregate amount of the merchandise is what is used to determine the severity of the penalties as long as the acts are distinct. This means that a shoplifting spree could result in the highest level charge instead of individual minor charges.

A shoplifting case that includes merchandise totaling less than $300 could mean an incarceration of up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000 on a first conviction. On subsequent convictions, the penalties are increased to up to 2 two years in prison with the possibility of hard labor and a fine of up to $2,000.

If the aggregated value of the merchandise is more than $300 and less than $500, you are facing up to two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,000. There is a possibility of hard labor during the imprisonment.

When the aggregated value of the merchandise is $500 or more, you are facing up to 10 years of imprisonment with the possibility of hard labor. You are also facing a fine of up to $3,000.

Source: The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, "Louisiana Shoplifting Laws," accessed May 20, 2016

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