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Retail Fraud

When we speak about retail fraud, we are talking about shoplifting. With that understanding, we now have to learn the variations of the statute.

What is the Difference Between First-Degree Retail Fraud and Second-Degree Retail Fraud?

For first degree, the defendant is accused of stealing items valued over $1,000. This presents a maximum punishment of 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine which can be equated to three times the value of the items stolen.

For second degree retail fraud, the amount of the alleged theft is between $200 and $1,000 in value. This could lead to imprisonment of up to 1 year.

What is the Difference Between First-Degree Retail Fraud and Third-Degree Retail Fraud?

For third degree retail fraud, the defendant is accused of taking an item of less than $200 in value with a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail.

To be convicted of retail fraud, regardless of what degree, the prosecution will need to prove the following required elements: while a store was open for business to the public a defendant altered, transferred, removed, replaced, concealed, or misrepresented the price of an item available for purchase and there was intent to not pay for the property or pay a lesser amount for the item available for purchase.

Penalties for retail fraud will depend on what degree a defendant is being convicted of. If one is found guilty of first degree retail fraud, which is considered a felony, they can be facing up to 5 years in prison or a fine of $10,000 or three times the value of the property. Second and third degree retail fraud are considered misdemeanor offenses and the offender could be facing between 1 year to 93 days in jail, a fine, or both.

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