Shots were fired by alleged shoplifters and a customer at a Lowe’s Monday morning.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were called to the Lowe’s at 975 Beechway Drive just after 11 a.m. for a report of shots fired during a possible shoplifting incident.
Arriving officers spoke to witnesses who told them that two people were shoplifting from the store when at least one of them fired shots. It is unclear why the suspected shoplifter fired a weapon, but police say around the same time a customer also fired his gun.
As an Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer, I have represented people accused of theft.
Some people don’t consider shoplifting to be a particularly serious theft-related crime, but a conviction may result in jail time and hefty fines. In some cases, you may even face felony charges that can seriously jeopardize your future. When potential employers see a conviction for shoplifting (theft) on your record they may judge you as an untrustworthy person to hire.
Shoplifting in Indiana
There is no specific statute for shoplifting in Indiana. Instead, people suspected of shoplifting are prosecuted under the State’s theft laws. According to Indiana law, you can be charged with theft if there is evidence that you knowingly exercised unauthorized control over someone’s property with the intent of depriving that person of the property’s value or use.
Shoplifting comes under this definition because if you take property from a store without paying, you are taking store property without their consent and depriving the store of their property’s retail value. The penalties for shoplifting depend on the number of prior convictions, if any, you have had and the value of the goods you allegedly stole from the store:
- Class A Misdemeanor – If you are accused of stealing less than $750, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or fines of $5,000.
- Class 6 Felony – A second conviction or a first conviction involving between $750 and $50,000 is a Class 6 felony carrying a maximum penalty of 2.5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
If you get convicted of shoplifting, the merchant may also sue you in civil court. If they win,you may have to pay them for the property you stole. You may also have to pay their attorney fees and court costs.
seek help from an experienced attorney in theft cases
As you can see from the information above, shoplifting (theft) charges should not be taken lightly. Theft at any level is a serious crime and can ruin a person’s reputation and livelihood.
For these reasons, you should fight your shoplifting charges with the help of a skilled and experienced Indianapolis shoplifting lawyer. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may be able to avoid all or most of the penalties for an Indiana shoplifting (theft) conviction.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a theft crime in Indiana, contact our office today. We can help walk you through all of your options and determine which course of action is the best for you to take. Contact an Indiana Criminal Defense Attorney now.
Call the Law Office of Mark Nicholson today at 317-667-0718 to find out how we can fight for you.