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Is it mandatory for jail time on a 3rd or 4th misdemeanor shoplifting charge?

Atlanta, GA |

Not sure if it will be the 4th charge of misdemeanor shoplifting because the last case was dismissed in court. Also,is there anything we can do to avoid any jail time (e.g.- more community service,or higher fines to replace incarceration) She was issued a citation and released on-site,and was told she could either pay the fine before court or she would have to appear,but when she called to find out what the fine would be, they told her it would be a mandatory court appearance. What is going to be the likely outcome?...Thanks to anyone who can answer this!!!

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The charge that was dismissed doesn't count. But the pattern of arrests still suggests a problem of some sort. For a 3rd shoplifting charge I'd expect some jail time depending on the jurisdiction and 3 years of probation.


  2. There is no mandatory jail sentence for misdemeanor shoplifting in Georgia, but as my colleague stated earlier, because of the pattern of behavior, a judge may likely sentence her to some jail time. How much, if any, is going to depend on the judge. Additionally, something to consider is that in Georgia, a fourth offense of misdemeanor level shoplifting is charged as a felony.


  3. WHOA! YES, there certainly are minimum sentences for misdemeanors shoplifting charges. Here is the breakdown:

    1st Offense - None

    2nd Offense - $250 minimum fine

    3rd Offense - Mandatory 30 days in jail

    4th Offense or More - Felony.

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