Theft, Fraud, and Shoplifting
Greenville, Spartanburg, South Carolina
At the Dick James Law Firm, our criminal defense attorneys know the laws concerning,theft, fraud and shoplifting in the Greenville, South Carolina area. We strongly believe that our clients are like members of our own family and we work hard to represent them when there has been a criminal charge placed against them.
Misdemeanor and Felony Crimes
Misdemeanor crimes are considered to be less serious than felonies. When someone is convicted of a misdemeanor, they will not serve more than one year in jail for that crime. Also, if a person commits a misdemeanor prior to their 18th birthday, depending on where the crime was committed, they may be able to have the convictions expunged from their criminal record once they have reached adulthood.
Felony crimes are considered more serious and generally result in a minimum prison term of one year or more. It is much more difficult, if not impossible, to have a felony conviction removed from your criminal record.
Theft, fraud, and shoplifting may be considered misdemeanors or felonies depending on the dollar value of the stolen property or the fraudulent act.
Theft is the act of taking property that belongs to and is of value to another person with the intent of keeping that property from the rightful owner. Common criminal acts that fall under the category of theft include:
- Armed robbery
- Home invasion
- Car jacking
If convicted of any of these acts, the guilty party often faces a jail term followed by a probationary period.
Fraud is defined as intentional deception in order to damage another individual or for personal gain. Fraud is a criminal act and is also considered to be a violation of civil law. The most common type of fraud committed is to take money from someone else. However, it may also be committed when claiming certain art, science or archaeological discoveries.
Fraud for profit often involves industry professionals and others who commit gross misrepresentations such as:
- Overstated income
- Overstated length of employment
- Reporting fictitious employment
- Undisclosed debts
- Altered credit history
- Inflated property values
- Health fraud
- Identity theft
Methods of committing fraud may include through mail, phone, wire or internet. If you have falsely represented a material fact to someone else, you could be charged with committing a fraudulent act.
If you intend to steal an item and have removed that merchandise from the store, switched the price tags or moved the item from one area to another, you are guilty of shoplifting and may face criminal charges if your actions are discovered.
In South Carolina, shoplifting items that total less than $1000 in value is considered a misdemeanor. Taking items of greater value than $1000 but less than $5000 is a felony punishable by up to 5 years. Shoplifting items of value greater than $5000 is a felony that is punishable by up to 10 years.
If you are convicted for shoplifting three times, no matter what the value of the items are, you face up to 10 years in prison.
If you or someone you love has been charged with theft, fraud or shoplifting in the Spartanburg or Greenville areas of South Carolina, you should consult the knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at the Dick James Law Firm.