Ohio Shoplifting Laws

Shoplifting has a reputation as a victimless and frivolous crime. Often, people don't take it seriously; there are even numerous websites with tips on how to do it without getting caught. Despite this perception, individuals who are convicted of shoplifting may face punishments such as jail sentences, fines, and may even have to pay civil damages to merchants.

If you've committed shoplifting in Ohio, you can be charged under the state's theft laws because there isn't a separate law for shoplifting. The charges and penalties that a shoplifter receives depend on the property value of the items in question. For example, if you take a necklace that is valued at $500, you could be charged with committing "petty theft", which is classified as a first degree misdemeanor. Even though the theft is "petty", you can still receive a sentence of up to 180 days in jail, fines up to $1000, or both. In contrast, if someone takes $8000 earrings, the individual can be charged with grand theft, which is punishable with a jail sentence between 6- 12 months and/or fines up to $2,500.

Ohio Shoplifting Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of laws related to Ohio's shoplifting laws, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

 

Penalties and Sentencing

The charges and the penalties depend on the property value of the property involved.

  • Property value under $1000: misdemeanor; penalty: up to 180 days in jail, fines up to $1000, or both.
  • Property valued at $1000 and more, less than $7,500: felony in the fifth degree; penalty: 6 months-12 months in jail, fines up to $2,500, or both.
  • Property valued at $7,500 or more, less than $150,000 is considered grand theft; felony in the fourth degree; penalty: 6- 18 months jail term and/or fines up to $5,000
  • Property valued at 150,000 or more, less than $750,000: felony in the third degree; penalty: 1-5 years in jail and/or fines up to $10,000.
  • Property valued at $750,000 or more, less than $1,500,000: (aggravated theft); felony in the second degree; penalty: 2-8 years in jail and/or fines up to $15,000
  • Property value: $1,500,000 or more: (aggravated theft); felony in the first degree; penalty: 3-10 years in jail, fines up to $20,000.

Possible Defenses

  • Lack of intent
  • Mistake of fact

Related Offense

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Ohio Shoplifting Laws: Related Resources

Speak to a Local Attorney about Your Shoplifting Case

Charges under Ohio's shoplifting laws are nothing to take lightly. Depending on the value of the property in question, you could face significant incarceration and fines. Take control of your case by speaking to an Ohio criminal defense attorney who can help assess your options.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.