Winchendon, MA asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for New Hampshire

Q: What is the penalty for first time willful concealment in NH

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In New Hampshire, willful concealment (also known as shoplifting) is treated as a misdemeanor for a first offense if the value of the merchandise is under $1,000.

The potential penalties for a first-time willful concealment conviction in NH include:

- A fine of up to $1,200

- Up to one year in county jail

- Restitution paid to the merchant for the stolen item(s)

- Possible probation

However, if there are aggravating factors, such as use of a weapon or device to commit the theft, assault of a store employee, or a high value of merchandise stolen, the charge could be elevated to a felony level even for a first offense. Felony level penalties are more severe.

It's important to note that having no prior criminal record can sometimes lead to more lenient sentencing or the opportunity for alternative sentencing programs. The specific circumstances of the case and the discretion of the prosecutor and judge also impact the ultimate penalties imposed.

This is general information, not legal advice. Always consult with a qualified local criminal defense attorney about the details of any particular shoplifting case.

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