Shoplifting is punished based on the value of the goods stolen.
- Under $50: Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. If it a second offense, it is a Class B misdemeanor (see below)
- Between $50 and $500: Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000
- Between $500 and $5,000: Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000
- Between $1,500 and $20,000, or the theft of a firearm; State Jail felony, punishable by between 180 days and 2 years in a state prison facility and fines of up to $10,000
- Between $20,000 and $200,000: Third degree felony, punishable by between 2 and 10 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000
- Over $200,000: First degree felony, punishable by 5 to 99 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines
As you can see, a shoplifting conviction can result in heavy penalties, particularly if the value of the goods is high. In addition, shoplifters can be sued in civil court for damages, plus a penalty of up to $1,000 for adults and $5,000 for the parents of child shoplifters. This means that if you stole something valued at $1,500, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, may be sentenced to jail and be ordered to pay a fine of up to $4,000 — and you may be liable to the store for up to $2,5000 ($1,500 in damages plus $1,000).