Georgia Officers Shoot Tennessee Shoplifting Suspect

A case of shoplifting in Tennessee quickly turned into a shooting in the state of Georgia, as police chased two suspects suspected of shoplifting in Bradley County, Tennessee across the state line into Georgia. Georgia state troopers then used a maneuver to halt the suspects, at which time the male driver surrendered, but the woman fled in the car. Georgia police followed her and used the same maneuver on her, at which time she exited the car with two handguns.

At this time, Georgia police shot the woman who is currently hospitalized with no report on her condition. No officers were shot, and it is unclear at this time which Georgia law enforcement officers were responsible for shooting the woman. It is difficult to understand why two people who might have been charged with shoplifting would choose to lead police on a car chase, however as detail of the incident are released, the reasons could become clearer.

Do Not Take the Crime of Shoplifting in the State of Georgia Lightly
Shoplifting in the state of Georgia is a crime which should not be taken lightly, as it carries significant penalties which could include time behind bars, fines, and even civil lawsuit damages. Under Georgia law, shoplifting is defined as performing certain actions with the intent of taking merchandise which does not belong to you without paying for it. A shoplifter must intend to deprive possession of the item or the value of the item from the owner, whether by concealing the merchandise, altering a price tag, switching a price tag, moving merchandise into a different container or in any way wrongfully causing the amount to be paid to be lower than it should be.

Penalties for a Georgia Shoplifting Conviction
The relevancy of the value of the stolen item is only to distinguish between a felony shoplifting charge and a misdemeanor shoplifting charge, however a judge may also consider any aggravating circumstances related to the crime when determining how it will be charged and the penalties upon conviction. Repeat shoplifting offenders will face harsher penalties than first-time shoplifting offenders. The penalties for shoplifting in Georgia include:

• Shoplifting items which have a total value of $500 or less will result in a misdemeanor charge. If convicted, you could face up to one year in jail, and/or a fine as large as $1,000.
• A second conviction for shoplifting items with a total value of $500 or less will still be classified as a misdemeanor, however on conviction there will be a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a possible prison sentence.
• Those who have two prior shoplifting convictions, whether felonies or misdemeanors, of items valued at $500 or less will face a misdemeanor charge, however upon conviction, the offender will receive a mandatory jail term of no less than 30 days or confinement in a probation detention center or diversion program for 120 days or will be placed under house arrest for 120 days, as well as a fine. The offender could also be required to undergo a psychological evaluation.
• A shoplifting charge for items valued at less than $500 with three prior shoplifting convictions will result in felony charges, and, if convicted, jail time between one and ten years with the first year being mandatory. Fines will be left to the court’s discretion
• A first-time shoplifting charge for items valued at more than $500 will be classified as a felony. Upon conviction, the fines for the offense will be left to the court’s discretion, and a jail term of between one and ten years will result.
How an Experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
As you can see, shoplifting in Georgia has very steep penalties. If you are a first-time offender, an experienced Georgia shoplifting attorney like Melanie Ellwanger could possible negotiate pretrial intervention or a diversion program. You need a solid advocate like Melanie Ellwanger by your side from the moment you are charged with shoplifting to avoid being incarcerated for the offense. Melanie will walk you through every step of the process, and is dedicated to working hard on your behalf. Don’t leave your future to chance as you wait for the case to resolve itself. Contact Melanie Ellwanger at (404) 803-3105 or at melanie@hiremelaw.com.