Shoplifting Charges in Nebraska

Learn about the laws, penalties and civil consequences of a shoplifting charge in Nebraska. Find out if you can avoid a conviction and criminal record.

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Shoplifting in Nebraska is a crime with serious penalties, including potential fines and jail time. In addition to facing criminal penalties, shoplifters can be sued by merchants in civil court to recover damages.

Nebraska Shoplifting Laws

Nebraska broadly defines theft by shoplifting to include actions such as taking or concealing merchandise, altering price tags, transferring goods to another container, or causing the cash register to "under-ring" an item, with the intent to deprive the owner of possession or the retail value of the goods. Shoplifters face criminal penalties for theft as described below, as well as civil liability to the victimized merchant.

Nebraska Shoplifting Criminal Penalties

Charge

Classification

Penalty

Theft of goods valued at $200 or less with no prior convictions

Class II misdemeanor under 28-518(4)

Up to six months of jail time and/or a fine up to $1,000

Theft of goods valued at under $200 with one prior conviction

Class I misdemeanor under 28-518(6)

Up to one year of jail time and/or a fine up to $1,000

Theft of goods valued at $200-$500 with no prior convictions

Class I misdemeanor under 28-518(3)

Up to one year of jail time and/or a fine up to $1,000

Theft of goods valued at $200-$500 with one or more prior convictions

Class IV felony under 28-518(5)

Up to five years of jail time and/or a fine up to $10,000

Theft of goods valued at $200 or less with three or more prior convictions

Class IV felony under 28-518(6)

Up to five years of jail time and/or a fine up to $10,000

Theft of goods valued at $500-$1,500

Class IV felony under 28-518(2)

Up to five years of jail time and/or a fine up to $10,000

Theft of goods valued at more than $1,500

Class III felony under 28-518(1)

Between one and 20 years of jail time and/or a fine up to $25,000

Civil Liability

Adult shoplifters or the parents of minor shoplifters can be sued by the owner of the merchandise for actual damages, court costs, and reasonable attorney fees. Parents of minor shoplifters are liable only if the minor was living with the parents at the time the shoplifting was committed.

Pretrial Diversion Programs and Plea Bargains

Certain individuals accused of first-time and low-level crimes may be eligible to enter a pretrial diversion program. Once the accused completes the diversion program requirements, which may involve community service, restitution, and other court-mandated tasks, the criminal charges will be dropped.

For accused individuals who are not eligible for diversion, negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor may be possible. Plea bargains typically involve pleading guilty in exchange for lesser charges or a lighter sentence. 

Learn more about diversion and pretrial options.

Getting Help

If you have been accused of shoplifting, you should contact an experienced Nebraska criminal law attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you explore options such as pursuing a pretrial diversion program, raising defenses, and negotiating a plea bargain, in order to minimize the consequences of a shoplifting charge.

by: , Attorney

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