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.