Shoplifting and Retail Theft
Stealing something as simple and inexpensive as a single piece of cookware, or something as complex and expensive as a new vehicle all result in criminal charges. Though the degrees of severity differ, both instances are theft under Iowa law. The penalties for each type of theft are different, with some requiring days in jail or months or years in prison.
Those convicted of theft experience long-lasting consequences regardless of the monetary value of the item(s) stolen or the class of the charge. You may not only face the standard penalties of jail/prison time and fines but having theft convictions on your record can negatively impact your personal and professional reputation. It can permanently mark your personal record and inhibit you from certain positions or legal conditions such as child custody.
The most important thing an individual accused of theft can do is to contact a qualified Polk County attorney that can fight for you in and out of court.
Attorney for Shoplifting and Retail Theft in Polk County, Iowa
People make mistakes and are often accused of crimes they did not commit. No matter what the circumstances of your case are, the attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. are dedicated to providing the kind of legal service each client requires.
There are always avenues to pursue when building a defense, and our seasoned legal team possesses the knowledge and skill to sift through the details of the case. We can spot errors, inconsistencies, and other mistakes by the prosecution in order to fight for you and your freedom.
McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. services clients in the Greater Des Moines Area including Des Moines, West Des Moines, Altoona, Ankeny, Clive, and many other cities in the surrounding area.
If you are ready to begin preparing your defense, contact us today at (515) 279-9700 to schedule a free consultation.
Overview of Shoplifting and Retail Theft Laws
- What Exactly Is Shoplifting and Retail Theft?
- What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting and Retail Theft?
- Additional Resources
What Exactly Is Shoplifting and Retail Theft?
The Iowa State Code lists a significant number of crimes that could be considered as theft. Anything from stealing cars to writing bad checks can qualify as theft, and thefts that occur outside of a retail setting can be more harshly punished.
Retail Theft is a term that is used to refer to a cluster of theft crimes that are directly related to businesses. Typically, Retail Theft is committed when an individual or individuals steal property from a business without the intention of returning it.
The penalties surrounding theft depen on the circumstances of the crime. Naturally, if someone stole something worth $50, they should not be charged in a similar manner to someone that stole something worth $5000. Listed below are the five degrees of theft as well as a handful of theft-related charges:
- Degrees of theft
- First Degree Theft (> $10,000 value in property stolen)
- Second Degree Theft ($1000-$10,000 value in property stolen)
- Third Degree Theft ($500-$1000 value in property stolen)
- Fourth Degree Theft ($200-$500 value in property stolen)
- Fifth Degree Theft (< $200 value in property stolen)
- Aggravated Theft
- Unlawful Removal of Theft Detection Device
- Manufacturing/Selling/Possession/Distributing Theft Detection Shielding Devices
- Possession of Tool, Instrument, or Device with Intent to Use to Remove Detection Device
- Theft of Product Containing Pseudoephedrine
What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting and Retail Theft?
Depending on your criminal history, the potential punishments levied against you can be more or less severe. If you commit another crime during the commission of the theft, then additional charges can be pressed.
Below is a detailed chart providing the State’s legal code regarding each type of crime and its resulting penalties.
1st Degree Theft
Theft of item(s) greater than $10,000 in total value
Class C Felony
Prison Sentence 10 years; fine between $1,000 and $10,0000
2nd Degree Theft
Theft of item(s) between $1,000 and 10,000 in total value
Class D Felony
Prison Sentence 5 years; fine between $750 and $7,500
3rd Degree Theft
Theft of item(s) between $500 and $1000 in total value; or two prior convictions
Jail Sentence 2 years; fine between $625 and $6,250
4th Degree Theft
Theft of item(s) between $200 and $500 in total value; no more than one prior offense
Jail Sentence 1 year; fine between $315 and $1875
5th Degree Theft
Theft of item(s) below $200 in total value; no more than one prior conviction
Jail Sentence 30 days; fine between $65 and $625
Assault occurring during the process of theft of no more than $200 worth of items.
Jail Sentence 2 years; fine between $625 and $6,250
Unlawful Removal of a Theft Detection Device
Removing a theft detection device
Jail Sentence 1 year; fine between $315 and $1975
Iowa State Legal Code Theft Laws – This is the official website of the Iowa State Legal Code, and the PDF linked provides detailed information on the State of Iowa’s legal standards for theft. The information provided affirms the table above. If you are facing a theft charge in the State of Iowa, it is always a good idea to understand what the wording of the law directly says.
Iowa Criminal Statute Sentencing Chart – This document is procured by the Office of the State Public Defender as a guideline for sentencing. Depending on the charge, as well as prior convictions, the sentence can be harsher or milder. Utilizing the information displayed above, you can scan this document to determine what the standard sentence is for the crime(s) you are accused of.
National Association of Shoplifting Prevention Self-Help Center – This portal has a number of sections for people struggling with kleptomania. The organization is dedicated to expanding awareness on the risks involved with shoplifting and the underlying psychological issues that often appear alongside kleptomania.
Shoplifting and Retail Theft Attorney in West Des Moines, Iowa
Everybody needs a strong, dedicated advocate in the court of law. No matter what the circumstances are, you have rights that extend far beyond what you may perceive. At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., it is our highest honor and greatest duty to provide our clients with the kind of legal service their cases require.
It may seem like there is no way out of the situation you find yourself in, but if you entrust your legal defense to the seasoned attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., you will see that this is not the case. Depending on many different factors, the charges against you may be able to be dismissed. Our legal team will work tirelessly to spot any discrepancies in the prosecution’s case.
If you have been charged with a Shoplifting or Retail Theft crime in Polk County, Dallas County, Jasper County, Warren County, Marshall County, and many other surrounding counties, reach out to us today at (515) 279-9700 to schedule a free consultation.