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What are the Penalties I Can Face for Shoplifting in Iowa?

Potentially receiving criminal charges for any form of theft, including shoplifting, in the state of Iowa can negatively affect your future opportunities, such as obtaining certain jobs or property. Follow along to see what the different types of shoplifting are and the penalties that come with them, and how a seasoned Des Moines theft lawyer at Herting Law PLLC can assist you in minimizing or eliminating them altogether.

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What is considered a shoplifting offense in Iowa?

The act of shoplifting entails an individual wrongfully stealing property from a retail establishment without permission, without paying for it, and without the intent to return it to the establishment. This can be done by something as common as concealing stolen items in pockets, bags, or clothing, or something as complex as coordinating with a cashier to “forget” to scan items.

Also, an individual can shoplift by returning already stolen items for money or store credit or when they change price tags and bar codes to ring up as lower prices. Another way of shoplifting is when an individual uses devices, such as aluminum-lined bags, that prevent anti-theft technology in the establishment from functioning properly; even manufacturing or distributing such devices can lead to a shoplifting charge.

What charges can I face for shoplifting in Iowa?

The state of Iowa does not have a specific shoplifting law, but rather the offense is considered a theft crime. With that, there are five recognized degrees of theft in Iowa. The higher the value of the stolen items, the harsher the penalties are. The potential penalties for shoplifting charges read as follows:

  • Stolen property valued at up to $300 is considered a fifth-degree theft, otherwise known as a simple misdemeanor.
    • Fines between $105 to $855.
    • Up to 30 days in jail.
  • Stolen property valued between $300 to $750 is a fourth-degree theft, or a serious misdemeanor.
    • Fines between $430 to $2,560.
    • Up to one year in jail.
  • Stolen property valued between $750 to $1,500 is a third-degree theft, or an aggravated misdemeanor.
    • Fines between $855 to $8,450.
    • Up to two years in jail.
  • Stolen property valued between $1,500 to $10,000 is a second-degree theft, or a Class D felony.
    • Fines between $1,025 to $10,245.
    • Up to five years of incarceration.
  • Stolen property valued at more than $10,000 is a first-degree theft, or a Class C felony.
    • Fines between $1,370 to $13,660.
    • Up to 10 years of incarceration.

If you are facing criminal charges for shoplifting, do not hesitate to reach out to a knowledgeable Des Moines criminal defense lawyer to help protect your freedom and reputation.

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Herting Law, PLLC, is an Iowa-based law firm designed to help with all of your legal needs. Contact Herting Law, PLLC today for help.


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