Shoplifting in North Carolina: What if You Are Caught?

Okay, if you have to name some of the most frequent crimes in North Carolina, shoplifting would probably top the list. Do you have any idea that 10% of American citizens have said that they have shoplifted at least once in their lives, what’s shocking is for many, shoplifting is a weekly or even a daily habit. Yes, if you are arrested for shoplifting, a North Carolina bondsman can help you get out of jail before your trial, but do you know what should you do when you are caught for shoplifting? Well, here’s a brief!

What is Shoplifting?

Most people don’t realize that shoplifting can change their life and send them to jail. Some individuals shoplift for financial issues, whereas others do it because they enjoy the rush, but this small crime that doesn’t seem like a big deal can have a serious impact on the shoplifter’s life. Let’s be clear shoplifting doesn’t just mean pocketing candy or something tiny and walking out of the store without paying for it; it means cops arresting you for theft in a store.

In North Carolina, shoplifting falls under the broader category of larceny, which involves the unlawful taking of someone else’s property. Shoplifting can encompass various actions, including concealing items, altering price tags, or simply leaving the store without paying for merchandise.

What after you are caught?

When you are caught shoplifting, several things could happen after that point:

  • You may be allowed to leave with a warning.
  • The store might ask you to fill out paperwork and/or ban you from ever returning to the store.
  • Depending on how much you stole, the store can ask you to compensate for the product.
  • Or in the worst-case scenario, they can call the cops.

Penalties for Shoplifting

If you are caught shoplifting in NC, the severity of the penalties typically depends on the value of the stolen goods or your prior criminal record. Typically, for first-time offenders, and low-value thefts, the consequences encompass minor fines, community service, or probation. However, for larger thefts or repeated offenses, the penalties can escalate to felony or misdemeanor charges and potentially lead to imprisonment.

Legal Procedures When You Are Caught:

When you are apprehended for shoplifting in NC, the store has the right to detain you and involve law enforcement. In such situations, it’s imperative on your part to remain calm and cooperative. After that, you will be issued a citation or a Notice to Appear, which indicates a date for a court appearance. You must take this notice seriously and appear before the court as instructed.

Apart from criminal charges, individuals caught shoplifting in North Carolina might also face civil penalties. Storeowners have the option to pursue civil claims to recover damages resulting from the theft, and this could involve paying for the stolen items, compensating for any damages caused during the incident, and covering the store’s legal fees.


Shoplifting charges can be severe, but they can be even more critical when it’s associated with an illegal immigrant. Whether you are associated with an immigration violation or arrested for shoplifting, feel free to reach out to the North Carolina bail bondsman at Amistad Bail and Immigration Bonds, and they can help you understand everything surrounding bail bonds. Need more information, or want to schedule a consultation with a Raleigh, NC bail bondsman? Contact us today!