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Petty Theft / Shoplifting

Stealing property from stores or establishments is often referred to as shoplifting or retail theft. Most shoplifting offenses in Ohio result in petty theft charges, but instances involving certain types of merchandise or property of higher values may lead to alleged offenders being charged with felony theft crimes.

While petty theft is a misdemeanor offense in Ohio, a conviction for shoplifting can still result in possible incarceration and fines. Pleading guilty to a shoplifting crime will also lead to a theft offense appearing on an alleged offender’s criminal record and causing additional long-term problems when a possible employer or landlord runs a background check.

Attorney for Petty Theft / Shoplifting Arrests in Cincinnati, OH

If you were recently arrested anywhere in Hamilton County for alleged shoplifting or any other kind of petty theft offense, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. Joslyn Law Firm defends clients accused of theft crimes in numerous communities all over southwest Ohio, including Springdale, Sycamore, Bridgetown, Anderson, Green, Delhi, Miamitown, Norwood, Harrison, and many others.

Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer Brian Joslyn can help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties. Call (513) 399-6289 today to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Ohio Petty Theft / Shoplifting Information Center


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Petty Theft Charges in Hamilton County

An alleged offender commits theft under Ohio Revised Code § 2913.02 if he or she, with purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, knowingly obtains or exerts control over either the property or services in any of the following ways:

  • Without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
  • Beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
  • By deception;
  • By threat; or
  • By intimidation.

If the value of the property or services allegedly stolen is less than $1,000, a violation of this statute is the first-degree misdemeanor offense of petty theft. An alleged offender could face felony theft charges if the value of the property or services allegedly stolen is $1,000 or more, or is any one of the following items:

  • Firearm or dangerous ordnance;
  • Motor vehicle;
  • Dangerous drug;
  • Police dog or horse or an assistance dog;
  • Anhydrous ammonia; or
  • Gasoline.

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Shoplifting Penalties in Cincinnati

As a first-degree misdemeanor, a petty theft conviction is punishable by any combination of the following punishments:

  • Up to 180 days in jail; and/or
  • Fine of up to $1,000.

If an alleged offender committed a violation by stealing rented property or rental services, the court may order the alleged offender to make restitution that includes, but is not limited to, the cost of repairing or replacing the stolen property, or the cost of repairing the stolen property and any loss of revenue resulting from deprivation of the property due to theft of rental services that is less than or equal to the actual value of the property at the time it was rented. Ohio Revised Code § 2307.61 also allows property owners to bring civil actions to recover damages from alleged offenders who willfully damage the property of the owners or who commit theft offenses involving the property of the owners.


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Ohio Petty Theft / Shoplifting Resources

Shoplifting | Ohio Crime Prevention Association — View the full text of a guide from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), a component within the United States Department of Justice dedicated to community policing. The guide discusses the problem of shoplifting as well as related problems and factors contributing to shoplifting. The guide states that the “most accurate way to assess retail theft is repeated systematic counting of items on display,” but acknowledges that doing so is not only labor-intensive, but also makes it difficult “to determine whether losses are due to theft by customers or by staff, or whether they are the result of innocent clerical error.”

National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) — Originally founded as Shoplifters Anonymous, Inc., NASP is a private nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that identifies itself as “the nationwide leader in shoplifting prevention efforts.” Learn more about NASP’s diversion programs, online theft classes, and self-help support on this website. You can also view research from various recidivism studies.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Cincinnati Petty Theft / Shoplifting Defense Lawyer

Were you arrested for an alleged shoplifting or petty theft offense anywhere in southwest Ohio? You should avoid making any kind of statement to authorities until you have contacted Joslyn Law Firm.

Brian Joslyn is an award-winning criminal defense attorney in Cincinnati who represents individuals in Colerain, Reading, Forest Park, Symmes, Blue Ash, Miami, Springfield, Montgomery, and many other surrounding areas of Hamilton County. You can have our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (513) 399-6289 or submit an online contact form to set up a free initial consultation.


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