Shoplifting / Stealing

Get Your Shoplifting Charge in Missouri Reduced or Dismissed With Help From Attorney Andrea Rogers

shoplifting theft charges st louis attorney in missouri

Avoid Having a Conviction For Stealing On Your Criminal Record.

If you have been charged with Shoplifting, you will need to hire an experienced attorney to represent you if you want to avoid having a conviction on your criminal record. The maximum punishment is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine for Stealing Under $500 in Missouri. Your attorney can get your shoplifting charge 1) dismissed completely, or 2) reduced to a lesser offense such as “Littering,” or 3) dismissed after a period of probation.

Shoplifting Treated as Theft Under Missouri Law

Unlike some states that have specific “shoplifting” or “retail theft” charges, Missouri law simply treats shoplifting as a type of stealing or theft offense. The value of the merchandise stolen is the primary factor in determining whether shoplifting will be charged as a misdemeanor or felony theft crime. Stealing items worth less than $150 is typically a class D misdemeanor for a first offense, while thefts between $150-$750 are class A misdemeanors.   

Please note: Andrea handles misdemeanor shoplifting charges in Missouri, not felony stealing.

Shoplifting FAQs

The outcome of your case depends on which court your case is being prosecuted in, your age, the type of item you stole, your criminal history, and other specific details of your case. Your attorney can get your Shoplifting ticket either dismissed, reduced to a lesser offense such as “Littering,” or reduced after a period of probation. In many cases, the defendant does not have to appear in court at all.
Stealing items valued under $500 is a class A misdemeanor in Missouri with a maximum potential penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Stealing Under $150 is a class D misdemeanor for first-time offenders, punishable by a fine of $500 but no jail time.
If you plead guilty to Shoplifting, it will show up as a conviction on your permanent criminal record, which can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, obtaining a bank loan, and being accepted into college.
The judge can sentence you to jail for 1 year and require you to pay a fine of $1,000 if you are convicted of Shoplifting. The outcome of your case depends on which court your case is being prosecuted in, your criminal history, and other details of your case. If you have no prior convictions for stealing and you have an experienced attorney representing you, there is very little chance you will go to jail.
“Stealing under $150″ has been reduced from a class A misdemeanor to a class D misdemeanor for first-time offenders. The maximum punishment for “Stealing Under $150” is a fine of $500 but no jail time.
If you get caught shoplifting, the store will send you a “civil demand letter” stating that you owe the store $250 to reimburse them for their expenses. Experienced attorneys advise their clients to refuse to pay the $250 civil demand. You don’t owe the store anything unless they successfully sue you in civil court and win a money judgment against you. Stores can sue shoplifters but most don’t, unless the value of the stolen item is very high. Whether or not you pay the civil demand has no effect on your criminal Shoplifting case.
Fine amounts vary depending on the court in which your case is being prosecuted. If you decide to plead guilty and pay the fine, you will have a conviction for Shoplifting on your criminal record, which can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, obtaining a loan, or being accepted into college. If you hire an attorney to get your Shoplifting ticket dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, you may pay a higher fine but there will be no conviction on your criminal record.

In Missouri, there is no separate statutory offense called "shoplifting." Instead, shoplifting is treated as a form of theft or stealing under Missouri's laws.

The key differences between shoplifting and general theft charges in Missouri are:
The location - Shoplifting specifically refers to the theft of merchandise from a retail establishment, whereas general theft can occur anywhere.

The type of property - Shoplifting typically involves merchandise for sale, while general theft can involve any type of property.

However, the charges and penalties are determined by the value of the stolen property, not whether it was shoplifting or general theft.
Missouri law under § 570.030 defines stealing/theft as:
"A person commits the offense of stealing if he or she appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive the person thereof, either without consent or by means of deceit or coercion."

This broad definition encompasses shoplifting, as taking merchandise from a store without paying would constitute appropriating the store's property without consent to deprive them of it.
So in essence, shoplifting is just a subcategory of the general theft statute in Missouri. The charges and penalties are the same whether it was shoplifting from a store or any other type of theft, based solely on the value stolen.

The key distinction is that shoplifting from a retail business may involve additional civil penalties like being banned from the premises, while general theft would not necessarily involve those consequences from a private business.

Receive a flat-fee price quote and an estimate of the fines and court costs upfront.

Call Andrea directly and ask about your case outcome guarantee.

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Don’t let a shoplifting charge define your future.

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Receive a flat-fee price quote and an estimate of the fines and court costs upfront.

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