What to Know When Arrested for Shoplifting Charges

Shoplifting Charges are Serious

Under Maryland law, a person accused of shoplifting will be charged with theft. Theft is considered a “crime of moral turpitude,” or one reflecting dishonesty or lack of trustworthiness. Here are some of the consequences of a theft conviction:

  • Employment. Many employers, particularly large companies, financial institutions, law enforcement agencies, and government contractors, conduct background checks on applicants. A theft conviction for shoplifting charges can disqualify for employment, or be cause for dismissal.
  • Security Clearances. The federal government’s Questionnaire for National Security Positions (Standard Form 86) requests detailed information about a criminal or police record. A conviction for shoplifting charges would have to be disclosed.
  • College Admission. Many applications for colleges and universities contain questions regarding any criminal record, including the Common Application for Undergraduate College Admissions.
  • Military Service. A conviction in a civilian court for theft, including shoplifting charges, may be cause for separation from military service.

Punishment for Shoplifting Charges in Maryland

The penalty for shoplifting charges in Maryland depends upon the value of the item(s) that were stolen:

  • If the value of the property stolen is less than $1,000.00, it is a misdemeanor, and the maximum penalty is 18 months imprisonment and/or a $500.00 fine. In addition, the offender must restore the item or its value.
  • If the value is less than $100.00, it is a misdemeanor, and the maximum penalty is 90 days imprisonment, and/or a $500.00 fine. In addition, the offender must restore the item or its value.
  • If the value is at least $1,000.00, but less than $10,000.00, it is a felony, and the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment and/or a $10,000.00 fine.

Lawyer for Shoplifting Charges Columbia Howard County MD

If you or a loved one is arrested for shoplifting charges, you need an experienced criminal lawyer to fight for you. Jonathan Scott Smith is an experienced former prosecutor who has handled successfully many cases involving shoplifting charges.

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results — has earned him the recognition of his peers and clients:

  • Maryland Super Lawyer.
  • 10.0 Superb” as a litigation attorney by AVVO.
  • “Client’s Choice Award” by AVVO, based on average client reviews of 5 stars — the highest client review possible.
  • Client Distinction Award (Client Review Rating of 4.5 or higher on 5.0 scale – less than 4% of 900,000+ attorneys listed by Martindale-Hubbell)
  • 2013 Top Attorneys in Maryland (American Registry)
  • 2013 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.
  • AV-Preeminent™*” Highest Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (25 consecutive years).

These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Contact Shoplifting Defense Attorney

To schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.





  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101