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Stealing goods without paying for them raises the prices in stores for everyone. Stealing something can also land you in jail—something you probably did not imagine when you took a small item like a ring or charm.

At Groth & Associates, we defend people accused of crimes. We understand that everyone can make a mistake and that what you probably need is a second chance. To give you the best defense possible, we carefully review the circumstances surrounding your arrest, including your criminal history. Below, we offer a summary of Ohio’s shoplifting laws to give you some idea of the penalties you are facing.

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In Ohio, shoplifting is prosecuted as theft, which is found at Ohio Revised Code 2913.02. Theft is defined as knowingly taking or controlling another person’s property:

  • By threats;
  • By deception;
  • By intimidation;
  • Beyond the scope of express or implied consent; and/or
  • Without the owner giving consent.

For example, if you ask a store owner if you can hold an object and then walk out of the store, you have committed theft because the owner gave you permission to hold it in the store, not walk home with it. Likewise, if you bully someone into giving you something, you have also committed theft.

Punishment for Shoplifting

The punishments you will suffer can range from the mild to serious, depending on the value of the object you stole. The less valuable the goods stolen, the smaller the punishment:


  • First-degree misdemeanor
  • Fifth-degree felony
  • Fourth-degree felony (grand theft)
  • Third-degree felony
  • Second-degree felony
  • First-degree felony (aggravated theft)


  • Up to $1,000
  • At least $1,000 but less than $7,500
  • At least $7,500 but less than $150,000
  • At least $150,000 but less than $750,000
  • At least $750,000 but less than $1.5 million
  • At least $1.5 million or more


  • Up to 6 months in jail $1,000 fine
  • 6-12 months in prison $2,500 fine
  • 6-18 months in prison $5,000 fine
  • 9-36 months in prison $10,000 fine
  • 2-8 years in prison $15,000 fine
  • 3-11 years in prison $20,000 fine
Judges have discretion in Ohio to award up to the maximum based on a variety of factors, including your criminal history. If this is your second or third shoplifting charge, then you can expect to receive more time in jail than if this is your first offense.

Conversely, if this is your first offense for a minor infraction, you might be able to avoid jail altogether. Discuss the possibility with your Toledo shoplifting lawyer.






No two cases are the same, so we cannot say ahead of time how we will defend your case. It is vitally important to know what evidence the prosecutor has, such as surveillance video or your own admission of guilt. After getting stopped, some defendants admit to having taken an item, which makes bringing a defense harder.

In some situations, we might deny you stole anything, especially if the police or the store owner do not find the item on you. Sometimes surveillance video is suggestive but not definitive that you actually stole something.

In other situations, you might avoid punishment if you did not knowingly take an object, since this intent is an element of the crime. For example, you might have inadvertently walked out with something that had fallen in your purse or which someone else had placed there (such as your child). It is not a crime to walk out of a store with an item if you did not know you had the item on you.

In other cases, the only possible defense might be to argue that you deserve a favorable plea deal. Sometimes, plea deals are possible when the prosecutor does not have solid evidence or if you have no criminal history. You might be able to plead to a lesser charge or have the prosecutor recommend a light sentence.

Words from our clients

Our experience with Attorney Stevin Groth was nothing short of life changing.
When we first contacted Mr. Groth, he gave us his cell phone number and we were able to directly contact him day or night. His knowledge of the Ohio judicial system was astounding. He handled all aspects of our case himself, never once handing off our case to jr. associates. Stevin had positive relationships with all the judges, district attorneys and court personal that we came in contact with. Stevin’s persuasive arguments on our son’s behalf cleared him of all charges. Because of Stevin’s abilities, our son is able to move forward with his life without the stigma of a criminal record. We could not recommend Stevin Groth more highly.


Dan is an amazing attorney. He had my divorce finalized in a short period of time. A lot quicker than I thought it was going to be and for that I’m thankful! Dan knew exactly what he was talking about. Any questions I had Dan, and his assistant, Michelle was glad to answer. The outcome of my divorce was exactly what I was hoping for.


Allison Lawrence is the best lawyer I have hired.she was attentive when I presented my case to her & knew exactly how to handle it.very professional person when it comes to her job,also a humanitarian.Allison has given me great advice in a free consultation,as well as stood by side in court with chargers pending,of course she got the charges dismissed!!Great attorney,very need of a lawyer,I highly recommend Allison Lawrence.



    Everyone makes mistakes, and no one deserves serious prison time for these mistakes. To give yourself the best chance of avoiding the harshest consequences, you should hire the best criminal defense attorney you can find.

    The attorneys at Groth & Associates have distinguished themselves through aggressive advocacy and a laser-sharp focus on the details of every case we accept. We leave no stone unturned as we strive for a favorable result for our clients.

    If you would like to learn more, please contact us today. One of our shoplifting lawyers in Toledo can meet with you to discuss your case. To schedule a free consultation, please call or submit an online contact form.

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