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What is shoplifting?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Going into stores and seeing all the merchandise available can instill desire in shoppers. It’s up to the shoppers to ensure they’re only walking out with what they can afford. For some people, the desire is great and they try to find ways to bring things home. This might be because they want certain things or because they need something.

Taking merchandise from a store without paying the merchant for items is considered shoplifting. In Iowa, shoplifting is a form of theft. There are several things to know about these charges.

Changing prices or packaging is shoplifting

Shoplifting doesn’t always involve a person walking out of the store without paying for anything. Instead, it can also include changing price tags or packaging so that they can pay a lower price for the items they’re taking.

Misdemeanor or felony

The value of the items taken determines whether the theft is charged as a misdemeanor or felony in Iowa.

  • Up to $200: Simple misdemeanor for theft in the fifth degree
  • $200.01 to $500: Serious misdemeanor for theft in the fourth degree
  • $500.01 to $1,000: Aggravated misdemeanor for theft in the third degree
  • $1,000.01 to $10,000: Class D felony for theft in the second degree
  • More than $10,000: Class C felony for theft in the first degree

If you’re facing criminal charges for shoplifting, you should find out what actual charge you’re facing. This may help you determine what you’re going to do for your defense strategy. It’s best to work with someone familiar with these matters so you can determine what you want to do.