Chatsworth, GA asked in Criminal Law for Georgia

Q: Do you have to be caught with the merchandise if you are charged with shop lifting.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Glenn T. Stern
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Yes, you can be charged (and convicted) even if you were not physically caught with the merchandise. Under Georgia law O.C.G.A. § 16-8-14, shoplifting includes all of the following:

Conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;

Alters the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;

Transfers the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment from one container to another;

Interchanges the label or price tag from one item of merchandise with a label or price tag for another item of merchandise;


Wrongfully causes the amount paid to be less than the merchant's stated price for the merchandise.

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