Shoplifting may seem like a minor offense to some, but it is taken very seriously by retailers and law enforcement agencies. With serious losses contributed to shoplifting each year, the legal system often imposes strict penalties on those caught in the act. If you or someone you know has been arrested for shoplifting, understanding the gravity of the situation and the potential need for a bail bond is important. Ajua Bail Bonds would like to cover how serious shoplifting is and how you can seek a bail bond for a speedy release.
Is Shoplifting a Big Crime?
Shoplifting, the act of stealing goods from a retail establishment, is a form of theft. The severity of the charge often depends on the value of the items stolen and the circumstances of the theft. Here is what you should know:
• Legal Consequences Vary: Depending on the state and the value of the stolen goods, shoplifting can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. In many jurisdictions, stealing low-value items might result in misdemeanor charges, while high-value theft could lead to felony charges.
• Penalties: Penalties for shoplifting can range from fines and community service to probation and even jail time, especially for repeat offenders or high-value thefts.
• Civil Liability: In addition to criminal penalties, shoplifters can also face civil lawsuits from merchants seeking compensation for their losses.
When Do You Need a Bail Bond for Shoplifting
The need for a bail bond largely depends on the severity of the shoplifting charge and the policies of the jurisdiction where the arrest occurred.
• Misdemeanor Shoplifting: For minor offenses, individuals might be released on their own recognizance, meaning they can leave custody without paying bail but with a promise to return for their court date. However, this is not guaranteed.
• Felony Shoplifting: If the shoplifting charge is a felony due to the value of the stolen items or other aggravating factors like the use of a weapon, bail is typically required. The amount will depend on factors such as the severity of the offense, the individual’s criminal history, and perceived flight risk.
• Repeat Offenses: Individuals with prior shoplifting or other theft-related charges may face higher bail amounts or might not be eligible for release on their own recognizance.
Bail Bond Process for Shoplifting
If bail is set and you cannot afford to pay the full amount, here is how a bail bond can help:
• Contact a Bail Bond Agent: A bail bond agent pays a portion of the bail amount which is usually about 10% and guarantees the court that the full bail amount will be paid if the defendant fails to appear at court.
• Understand Bail Conditions: When you use a bail bond service, you are entering into a legal agreement. It is important to follow all conditions set by the bail bond agent, including showing up for all court dates and following any specific instructions.
• Collateral May Be Required: Depending on the bail amount and the risk assessment by the bail bond agent, collateral like property or a vehicle may be required to secure the bond.
Bail Bond Services in Clovis, Reedley, Sanger, Selma, Atwater, Los Banos, Merced, Visalia, Porterville, Tulare, Hanford, Corcoran, Lemoore & Greater Fresno, CA
Shoplifting is a serious crime that can have long-lasting repercussions on your personal and professional life. If you are facing shoplifting charges and need a bail bond, it is beneficial to understand the legal process and your responsibilities under the bail bond agreement. Respecting the law and showing up for all required court appearances is vital in handling your case responsibly and efficiently.
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for shoplifting or other crimes and need help from a bail bond service, call Ajua Bail Bonds today.