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Shoplifting is a common crime that occurs when someone takes merchandise from a store without paying for it. The state of Maryland classifies shoplifting offenses based on the value of the stolen goods, resulting in different levels of severity and corresponding penalties.

Understanding the different severities of shoplifting in Maryland can help you grasp the potential consequences of such actions and the importance of avoiding this type of criminal behavior.

Misdemeanor shoplifting

In Maryland, if the value of the stolen items is less than $100, the courts classify the shoplifting offense as a misdemeanor. A first-time offender can face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. For second-time offenders, the maximum jail time increases to 180 days, while the maximum fine remains at $500. Misdemeanor shoplifting might not carry the harshest penalties, but it still results in a criminal record that can impact future employment, housing and other opportunities.

Felony shoplifting

When the value of the stolen merchandise exceeds $100, the shoplifting offense becomes a felony in Maryland. The severity of the penalties increases as the value of the stolen goods rises. If the value of the stolen items ranges from $100 to $1,500, the maximum jail time is 6 months, and the maximum fine is $500. However, when the value is between $1,500 and $25,000, the potential penalties include up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

For the most severe cases, when the stolen goods are worth more than $25,000, the convicted individual can face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.