If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Olive Branch, MS, especially if you’re a first-time offender, you may be worried about what’s going to happen.  This article will answer some basic questions about these types of cases, and give you an idea of what outcomes you might be facing.

The punishment for first-time shoplifting in Mississippi, for merchandise valued at $500 or less, is a fine of up to $1000 and a jail sentence of up to six months.  If you plead guilty or are found guilty by the judge, you may also be looking at a permanent conviction for a misdemeanor. For merchandise valued over $500 the crime is a felony, with fines of up to $10,000 and ten years in prison.

Most shoplifting cases are essentially petty crimes, but if you’ve been charged you need to understand how serious this is and call a lawyer.  There may be options for keeping the charge off your record and not having to go to jail.  This could include diversion (a special type of probation), restitution, or community service.  If you can get this kind of deal, you may be able to have the charge dismissed and cleared from your record.   The best thing to do is to have an Olive Branch shoplifting lawyer represent you and insure that 1) you get the best deal possible, and 2) that the charge is expunged from your record.

Theft crimes in Olive Branch are not just dealt with as a slap on the wrist.  While courts are generally lenient toward first-time offenders, you’re going to have to convince the judge that you won’t be a repeat offender and that you’ll abide by all the rules and conditions that are ordered.  For help in your case, contact Olive Branch shoplifting lawyer Patrick Stegall.  Mr. Stegall specializes in helping first-time offenders avoid jail time and keep their records clean.  Please contact him by phone at (901) 205-9894 or by email at pstegall@stegall-law.com.

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