Shoplifting in Missouri isn’t just about facing the store manager; it’s about facing a legal system that can impose penalties affecting your wallet, freedom, and future.
This blog will break down the various consequences of a shoplifting offense, from criminal penalties to long-term impacts.
Per state law, shoplifting is a theft offense in Missouri. The punishment on conviction is based on the total value of the goods stolen. By value, the penalties are:
- Value of goods worth $25,000 or more: The theft is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years of prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Value of goods worth $750 or more, less than $25,000: The theft is a Class D felony, punishable by up to seven years of prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Value of goods worth between $150 and $750: The theft is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
- Value of goods less than $150: The theft is a Class D misdemeanor, punishable by up to $500 in fines.
The theft of certain items, such as firearms, metallic wires and ammonium nitrate, can also automatically elevate shoplifting charges to felony status.
There’s more to a shoplifting conviction than just imprisonment and fines. A conviction means having a criminal record, which can impact the following:
- Employment and licensing: Employers might conduct background checks on potential job applicants; they might avoid hiring someone with a conviction on record. Similarly, a conviction on record can prevent someone from attaining a professional license; or if they already have one, a conviction would lead to revocation.
- Credit and housing: Landlords and lenders can also conduct background checks on clients, and a conviction can negatively affect a person’s ability to secure housing or loans.
- Immigration status: For non-U.S. citizens, a conviction can ruin their chances of citizenship or even lead to deportation in the worst cases.
Shoplifting charges in Missouri carry significant penalties that can affect nearly every aspect of your life. If you face such charges, it’s crucial to take them seriously. Consider seeking qualified legal help to know your defense options.