Shoplifting and Retail Theft
in West Virginia
Stroebel & Johnson Defend You Against Criminal Theft Charges
The severity and punishment for criminal theft in West Virginia generally follows a $500 threshold. A first offense or first-time shoplifting conviction may bring a penalty of a fine plus time in jail. While many might label shoplifting as a “minor” crime, the penalties get worse with repeated or subsequent convictions. Consult with the criminal defense lawyers at Stroebel & Johnson when you are charged with a theft crime. We have two offices to serve you in Charleston and Lewisburg, so contact us today.
Theft Crimes in West Virginia and Civil Penalties
Persons convicted of shoplifting in West Virginia may face further civil penalties in addition to criminal charges. Under the civil penalties, you may be required to return stolen merchandise to the store, pay for damages if the merchandise is not recovered, pay for any physical damages from the incident, and pay for the store owner’s costs and attorneys fees. Refer to Section 61-3A-5 of the West Virginia Code for more details.
Convictions for Shoplifting & Theft in West Virginia
Stroebel & Johnson help residents in West Virginia who need to know more about how convictions for theft and shoplifting can affect them. Convictions stay on an offender’s criminal record and can result in harsher penalties when sentencing takes place. Consider these offenses for shoplifting:
First Shoplifting Offense: For merchandise with a value under $500, shoplifting is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no more than $250. For merchandise valued at $500 or more, it is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine ranging from $100 to $500. Offenders may also serve confinement in jail for a period of not more than 60 days. (W.Va. Code § 61-3A-3.)
Second Shoplifting Offense: For merchandise with a value of $500 or less, shoplifting is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine ranging from $100 to $500, confinement in jail for less than six months, or both. For stolen merchandise with a value over $500, shoplifting is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of at least $500, confinement in jail for six to 12 months, or both. ( § 61-3A-3.)
Third Shoplifting Offense: Stolen merchandise of any amount is a felony that carries a punishment of a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000, imprisonment for one to ten years. In this situation, the offender must spend at least one year in actual confinement, except in limited cases where home detention may be an option. ( § 61-3A-3.)
Speak with a lawyer at Stroebel & Johnson, PLLC today for sound advice on your criminal theft matter and to know more about how theft-related convictions affect you.