Shoplifting in Alabama is also known as Theft of Property in the 3rd Degree, a class A misdemeanor. If you are charged with Shoplifting you will be brought before a city judge in Alabama. Shoplifting or Theft 3rd is defined as the taking of property from a store (the statute says “not taken from the person of another” or pick pocketing), and the value of the items taken does not exceed $500.
The consequences of Shoplifting or Theft 3rd is usually worse than the value of the items stolen. For example, the average fine for Theft 3rd is around $600 or more dollars. If you made it out of the store with the items and they weren’t given back then you will be charged with the value of the items as well. This is called restitution. So you can quickly see that that DVD that costs $19.99 now costs as much as $619.99 or more! What’s worse is in some city courts the Judge issues a mandatory three days in jail for Theft 3rd! That means that even if you pay the fines and/or restitution or give back the merchandise, you still have to sit in jail for three days as a punishment! This is non-negotiable.
Your lawyer has the ability to fight to keep you out of jail completely. He will have to file certain documents with the court to make this happen. If you have been charged with Theft 3rd then you must hire a lawyer to avoid going to jail. It is really that simple!