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Mississippi Theft Laws
Mississippi Theft Laws
§ 97-17-43. Petit larceny defined; penalty.
(1) If any person shall feloniously take, steal and carry away any personal property of another under the value of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), he shall be guilty of petit larceny and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six (6) months or by fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or both. The total value of property taken, stolen or carried away by the person from a single victim shall be aggregated in determining the gravity of the offense.
(2) If any person shall feloniously take, steal and carry away any property of a church, synagogue, temple or other established place of worship under the value of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), he shall be guilty of petit larceny and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one (1) year or by fine not exceeding Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00), or both.
(3) Any person who leaves the premises of an establishment at which motor fuel offered for retail sale was dispensed into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle by driving away in that motor vehicle without having made due payment or authorized charge for the motor fuel so dispensed, with intent to defraud the retail establishment, shall be guilty of petit larceny and punished as provided in subsection (1) of this section and, upon any second or subsequent such offense, the driver's license of the person shall be suspended as follows:
(a) The person shall submit the driver's license to the court upon conviction and the court shall forward the driver's license to the Department of Public Safety.
(b) The first suspension of a driver's license under this subsection shall be for a period of six (6) months.
(c) A second or subsequent suspension of a driver's license under this subsection shall be for a period of one (1) year.
(d) At the expiration of the suspension period, and upon payment of a restoration fee of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00), the suspension shall terminate and the Department of Public Safety shall return the person's driver's license to the person. The restoration fee shall be in addition to the fees provided for in Title 63, Chapter 1, and shall be deposited into the State General Fund in accordance with Section 45-1-23.
§ 97-45-2. Identity theft; definitions; investigative authority of Attorney General; form of subpoena; enforcement and penal provisions; refusal to produce documents as requested by subpoena; confidentiality of information.
(1) For the purposes of this chapter, "identity theft" includes crimes chargeable under the following provisions of law:
(a) Section 97-9-79, which relates to false information.
(b) Section 97-19-83, which relates to fraud by mail or other means of communication.
(c) Section 97-19-85, which relates to the fraudulent use of identity social security number, credit card or debit card number or other identifying information.
(d) Section 97-45-19, which relates to obtaining personal identity information of another person without authorization.
(b) A subpoena issued pursuant to this subsection shall be in substantially the following form:
(2) (a) In conducting identity theft investigations, the Attorney General shall have the authority to issue and serve subpoenas to any person in control of any designated documents for the production of such documents, including, but not limited to, writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, phono-records and other data compilations from which information can be obtained, or translated through detection devices into reasonably usable form. Such subpoenas shall require the named person, his agent or attorney, to appear and deliver the designated documents to a location in the county of his residence unless the court for good cause shown directs that the subpoena be issued for the person to deliver such documents to a location outside of the county of his residence. Mere convenience of the Attorney General shall not be considered good cause. The Attorney General or his designee shall have the authority to inspect and copy such documents. Such subpoenas shall be issued only upon the ex parte and in camera application of the Attorney General to the circuit or chancery court of the county of residence of the person in control of the documents or the circuit or chancery court of the county where the person in control of the documents may be found, and only upon a showing that the documents sought are relevant to a criminal investigation under this chapter or may lead to the discovery of such relevant evidence. Thereafter said court shall have jurisdiction to enforce or quash such subpoenas and to enter appropriate orders thereon, and nothing contained in this section shall affect the right of a person to assert a claim that the information sought is privileged by law.
SUBPOENA TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS
PURSUANT TO AN INVESTIGATION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED to appear before the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi or his designated staff attorney at the place, date and time specified below in an investigation being conducted by the Attorney General pursuant to Section ________, Mississippi Code of 1972:
Place ____________ Date and Time ____________
YOU ARE ALSO COMMANDED to bring with you the following document(s) or object(s) __________________.
You are advised that the ________ Court of the ________ Judicial District of ____________ County, Mississippi, has approved the ex parte and in camera application of the Attorney General to issue this subpoena, and jurisdiction to enforce and/or quash the subpoena and to enter appropriate orders thereon is statutorily vested in the said court; enforcement and penal provisions applicable to an Attorney General's investigation include those set forth in Section ________, Mississippi Code of 1972; and disclosure of testimony and/or records coming into possession of the Attorney General pursuant to this subpoena shall be limited by and subject to the provisions of said section (for informational purposes, these cited statutes are reproduced on the reverse side of this subpoena).
You may wish to consult an attorney in regard to this subpoena. You have certain state and federal constitutional rights, including your protection against self-incrimination and unreasonable search and seizure which this subpoena may affect.
ISSUED BY AND UNDER SEAL OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, this the ________ day of ______________, 20________.
(c) Following service of any subpoena, pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, a record of the return shall be made and kept by the Attorney General and subject only to such disclosure as may be authorized pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(3) Enforcement and penal provisions applicable to an investigation under this section shall include the following:
(a) If a person who has been served with a subpoena, which has been issued and served upon him in accordance with the provisions of this section, shall fail to deliver or have delivered the designated documents at the time and place required in the subpoena, on application of the Attorney General the circuit or chancery court having approved the issuance of the subpoena may issue an attachment for such person, returnable immediately, or at such time and place as the court may direct. Bond may be required and fine imposed and proceedings had thereon as in the case of a subpoenaed witness who fails to appear in circuit or chancery court.
(b) Every person who shall knowingly and willfully obstruct, interfere with or impede an investigation under this section by concealing or destroying any documents, papers or other tangible evidence which are relevant to an investigation under this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(c) Every person who shall knowingly and willfully endeavor, by means of bribery, force or intimidation, to obstruct, delay or prevent the communication of information to any agent or employee of the Office of the Attorney General or who injures another person for the purpose of preventing the communication of such information or an account of the giving of such information relevant to an investigation under this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(d) The provisions of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this subsection shall not prohibit the enforcement of, or prosecution under, any other statutes of this state.
(4) (a) If any person shall refuse, or is likely to refuse, on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination, to produce the designated documents as requested by a subpoena issued under this section or issued by a court, the Attorney General may request the court, ex parte and in camera, to issue an order requiring such person to produce the documents information which he refuses to give or provide on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination. The Attorney General may request said order under this subsection when, in his judgment:
(i) The documents sought from such individual may be necessary to the public interest; and
(ii) Such individual has refused or is likely to refuse to produce the designated document on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination.
Following such request, an order shall issue in accordance with this section requiring such person to produce the documents which he refuses to produce on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination.
(b) Whenever a witness refuses, on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination, to produce documents, and the court issues to the witness an order under paragraph (a) of this subsection, the witness may not refuse to comply with the order on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination, but no documents or information compelled under the aforesaid order, or any information directly or indirectly derived from such documents may be used against the witness in any criminal proceeding, except a prosecution for perjury, giving a false statement, or otherwise failing to comply with the order.
(5) Documents in the possession of the Attorney General gathered pursuant to the provisions of this section and subpoenas issued by him shall be maintained in confidential files with access limited to prosecutorial and other law enforcement investigative personnel on a "need to know" basis and shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, except that upon the filing of an indictment or information, or upon the filing of an action for recovery of property, funds or fines, such documents shall be subject to such disclosure as may be required pursuant to the applicable statutes or court rules governing the trial of any such judicial proceeding.
(6) No person, including the Attorney General, a member of his staff, prosecuting attorney, law enforcement officer, witness, court reporter, attorney or other person, shall disclose to an unauthorized person documents, including subpoenas issued and served, gathered by the Attorney General pursuant to the provisions of this section, except that upon the filing of an indictment or information, or upon the filing of an action for recovery of property, funds or fines, or in other legal proceedings, such documents shall be subject to such disclosure as may be required pursuant to applicable statutes and court rules governing the trial of any such judicial proceeding. In event of an unauthorized disclosure of any such documents gathered by the Attorney General pursuant to the provisions of this section, the person making any such unauthorized disclosure shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or imprisonment of not more than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(7) The powers of the Attorney General under this section shall not diminish the powers of local authorities to investigate or prosecute any type of identity theft crime or any other criminal conduct within their respective jurisdictions, and the provisions of this section shall be in addition to the powers and authority previously granted the Attorney General by common, constitutional, statutory or case law.
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Please note, the theft law information on this page is provided as a courtesy to help explain theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. There is no guarantee or assurance of reliability or validity. Laws change over time and this page may or may not be current. The code that is provided on this site is an unofficial posting of the State Codes. The files making up this Internet version of the State Codes do not constitute the official text of the State Codes and are intended for informational purposes only. No representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of these sections. While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the statutes available Offender Solutions™ shall not be liable or held responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur in these files, they are provided on an "As Is" basis. Use of the information and services are at the sole risk of the user. For official versions of any state's current laws, the user is directed to that states Revised Statutes, all amendments and cumulative supplements thereto published by that state. Please notify the Webmaster if you find any irregularities in the statutes on this web site. The Webmaster will relay the information to appropriate staff to investigate the irregularities. The printed version of the State Codes should be consulted for all matters requiring reliance on the statutory text. If you were involved in a theft or shoplifting incident you are encouraged to consider taking a theft cloass, theft course or shoplifting education class such as the one provided by offender solutions. Research shows theft school and/or theft education can be an effective theft prevention. Offender Solutions™ is an online theft education, shoplifting education class about stealing, it can be very effective if you want to stop stealing. Evan it was a small theft, a petty theft class or petty theft school could be right for you!
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SHOPLIFTING THEFT STEALING
Shoplifting is not a crime, it is a euphemism for the word stealing or theft, and theft is a crime. I'm not sure why our culture allowed the word "theft" to be different for someone who steals from a store, but the effect has been to minimize its seriousness in the mind of the shoplifter, our society and, interestingly, the police. It would seem logical for someone who is shoplifting to minimize the seriousness of this crime by calling it "shoplifting", but for the police to be swayed to this way of thinking is no less sacrilegious than for an American citizen to allow the euphemism, "casualty of war" to replace the word "death", minimizing the sacrifices of our Veterans.
The same point can be made of the term "petty theft". Doesn't the word "petty" conjure up notions of insignificance, unimportance and irrelevance? It almost appears the police and our society have fallen victim to a very successful propaganda campaign intending to minimize the seriousness of theft from a store by calling it "shoplifting". Actually, if you take time to think about it, whether the item is stolen from a store, your employer, or, has great or small value, it is still stealing. It is also a statement about the shoplifters character.
I don't work for a store or retailer and I do not spend my time trying to show retailers how to better protect themselves from shoplifting with cameras, mirrors, electronic tags, security personnel, etc. I spend my time helping theft offenders think through their actions, attitudes, values and beliefs. Working with most people who steal is not all that difficult. What I have discovered through theft offender counseling is that most theft offenders have relatively transparent thinking errors. For example, if you believed 2 + 3 equals 6 you would have a thinking error. Your thinking error would not readily be identified, (How often do you do math out loud or in front of someone, and, to take it even further, how many people are willing to confront you with your math error?). However, once this thinking error is identified, you would be quick to self correct.
There is also such a thing as a "cultural thinking error." One common cultural thinking error occurs when we minimize the impact of shoplifting by buying into the notion that if someone is "shoplifting", he must be a victim. Common cultural thinking errors are that theft offenders are victims of poverty, poor parenting, hunger, alcohol and drugs, ADHD, peer pressure, etc. The fact is, most people who steal from stores are none of the above and, all people who choose to steal from stores have options to stealing. Oh, kleptomania you say?
People who are shoplifting are not all that different from you and I. Simply stated, the primary differences include, 1) an overdose of selfishness, 2) a stronger than normal attraction to the forbidden, 3) thinking errors you and I don't have, and, most of all, 4) they don't self punish the thought of stealing.