These laws could be changed in any number of ways. At a minimum, state legislatures could limit recovery to actual damages (as in Nebraska), or at least lower the exorbitant maximum penalties. But there are more creative solutions. For example, the statutes could bar civil recovery until after a criminal conviction, as in Virginia and New Mexico, thereby cloaking the suspect in the same presumption of innocence that protects criminal defendants. Or, as in West Virginia, the laws could eliminate duplicative punishment by barring subsequent civil recovery if the criminal fine is equal to or greater than the possible civil damages. Perhaps best of all, civil claims could be used in lieu of criminal prosecution altogether, an approach reflected in the Tennessee, New Hampshire and South Carolina civil recovery statutes. This option avoids the stigma of theft convictions (which can devastate employment prospects) while compensating the merchant, punishing the perpetrator, and saving criminal justice resources.