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Introduced Version House Bill 2212 History

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hb2212 intr
H. B. 2212


(By Delegate Ron Thompson)
[Introduced February 11, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §61-3A-3 of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to providing for the felony offense of "criminal episode" under the shoplifting statute when a person shoplifts from three separate and distinct mercantile establishments within a period of no more than ten days; and providing penalties for violations.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §61-3A-3
of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3A. SHOPLIFTING.

§61-3A-3. Penalties.

A person convicted of shoplifting shall be punished as follows:
(a) First offense conviction. -- Upon a first shoplifting conviction:
(1) When the value of the merchandise is less than or equal to five hundred dollars, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars.
(2) When the value of the merchandise exceeds five hundred dollars, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, and such fine shall not be suspended, or the person shall be confined in jail not more than sixty days, or both.
(b) Second offense conviction. -- Upon a second shoplifting conviction:
(1) When the value of the merchandise is less than or equal to five hundred dollars, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, and such fine shall not be suspended, or the person shall be confined in jail not more than six months or both.
(2) When the value of the merchandise exceeds five hundred dollars, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars and shall be confined in jail for not less than six months nor more than one year.
(3) Regardless of the value of the goods, when a person shoplifts at three or more separate and distinct mercantile establishments within a period no more than ten days that person is considered to have committed a criminal episode, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars and sentenced to a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years.
(c) Third offense conviction. -- Upon a third or subsequent shoplifting conviction, regardless of the value of the merchandise, the person is guilty of a felony and shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, and shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than ten years. At least one year shall actually be spent in confinement and not subject to probation: Provided, That an order for home detention by the court pursuant to the provisions of article eleven-b, chapter sixty-two of this code may be used as an alternative sentence to the incarceration required by this subsection.
(d) Mandatory penalty. -- In addition to the fines and imprisonment imposed by this section, in all cases of conviction for the offense of shoplifting, the court shall order the defendant to pay a penalty to the mercantile establishment involved in the amount of fifty dollars, or double the value of the merchandise involved, whichever is higher. The mercantile establishment shall be entitled to collect such mandatory penalty as in the case of a civil judgment. This penalty shall be in addition to the mercantile establishment's rights to recover the stolen merchandise.
(e) In determining the number of prior shoplifting convictions for purposes of imposing punishment under this section, the court shall disregard all such convictions occurring more than seven years prior to the shoplifting offense in question.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for the felony offense of "criminal episode" under the shoplifting statute when a person shoplifts from three separate and distinct mercantile establishments within a period of no more than ten days.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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