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Shoplifting & Petty Theft Laws

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Sneaky Woman Shoplifting Clothes in a Louisville, Kentucky (KY) Store

Punishable under the category of “theft by unlawful taking or disposition”, shoplifting and petty theft are crimes that has severe penalizations in Kentucky. If you or someone you know is facing a shoplifting or petty theft charge, there are many things you should know about the possible outcomes and what you need to do moving forward. Let Durrett & Kersting Law, PLLC of Louisville, Kentucky show you a few things you should know about these charges to help you better understand what measures need to be taken.

What is theft?

According to the Kentucky criminal statutes, theft is committed by someone taking control of property that is owned by another person with the purpose of intentionally depriving that person of the property. It is also defined as taking property from someone with the clear intent of benefitting from the property without the entitlement to do so. Additionally, Kentucky also has more specific theft offenses that include, among other things, theft of services, theft by deception, theft by extortion, unauthorized use of a vehicle, knowingly receiving stolen property, and identity theft.

What are the charges?

Theft charges are sorted into 3 categories depending on the severity of the theft. A Class A misdemeanors classification is given to those crimes that include the theft of goods that are valued at or under $500. A Class D felony classification is given to those crimes that include the theft of goods valued between $500 and $1,000. And lastly, a Class C felony charge is given to those crimes that include the theft of goods valued at $10,000 or more.

How is it punished?

Class A misdemeanors are punishable with up to 12 months of jail time and fines up to $500. Class D felonies are punishable with jail time, anywhere between1 and 5 years, and fines up to double the gain of the original offense or $10,000. Class C felonies are punishable with jail time, anywhere between 1 and 5 years, and fines up to double the gain of the original offense or $10,000.

Civil Penalties

In addition to the punishments listed above, shoplifters in Kentucky can be sued by the person or corporation that they shoplifted or stole from. Not only can they sue for the amount that the stolen items were worth, they can also sue for an additional amount between $100- $250 for damages.

Possible Outcomes

While jail time and fines are the typical punishment there are also diversion programs available for some first-time offenders. These programs require an individual to complete program-mandated requirements, like community service work and restitution, the original charges can be dropped. Plea bargains are also another option that may be available to offenders.

If you have been accused of shoplifting or petty theft and want to know what your next step should be, Durrett & Kersting Law, PLLC, serving Kentucky and Indiana is here to help. Our attorneys have over 25 years of combined experience, allowing you to feel confident that you have made the right choice for your legal representation. With extensive experience in criminal law, family law, personal injury, and a range of other fields, Durrett & Kersting Law, PLLC has you covered. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.



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