Although shoplifting charges may seem minor, a conviction creates a permanent criminal record and carries the possibility of high fines and even jail time in some situations. A conviction for a crime of dishonesty can be highly detrimental to your ability to seek employment in the future. As a result, you may wish to contact a Deerfield Beach shoplifting Lawyer for guidance and counsel.
Shoplifting can result in civil liability to the store owner in addition to criminal penalties. Whether you alter price tags, conceal merchandise in other containers, or remove merchandise from a store, you could face shoplifting charges. To properly defend yourself, you should consider retaining the services of one of our trusted Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert. Schedule a consultation today to get started.
Actions Regarded as Shoplifting
Fla. Stat. § 812.015 defines retail theft as the theft of merchandise, money, or any property from a retail store or business. The following actions may constitute retail theft or shoplifting if taken with the intent to deprive the store owners of the full benefits of possession, use, or value of the property:
- Taking property from the store premises without paying full price for it, including shopping carts
- Altering price tags, universal price codes, or labels from goods to avoid paying full price for items
- Placing items in different containers to avoid paying full price for them
Whether the individuals are trying to remove the merchandise without paying for it or paying a reduced price for it, they may commit retail theft within the meaning of this statute. A Deerfield Beach shoplifting Lawyer may be instrumental in helping individuals fight back against these criminal charges.
Facing Charges for Retail Theft
Shoplifting charges in Deerfield Beach can vary in severity according to the value of the merchandise or other items stolen. While most shoplifting cases result in Misdemeanor or petit theft charges, some do rise to the level of Felonies. For instance, if the stolen merchandise is worth more than $750 in value, the offense would not be constituted as a Felony or grand theft.
As a result, only offenses involving goods worth $750 or less are Misdemeanor crimes. Additionally, some types of merchandise or property automatically result in Felony charges, regardless of their value. Firearms are one example of the kind of property that results in a Felony charge if people steal them from a store.
A previous history of shoplifting convictions could also increase the penalties for a shoplifting conviction. For instance, a second shoplifting conviction can result in a payment of a mandatory fine, or completion of community service hours instead of a fine. These penalties are in addition to the possible jail time, periods of probation, and fines that may result from even a first-time shoplifting conviction.
Possible Consequences for Shoplifting in Deerfield Beach
A Misdemeanor shoplifting conviction may result in penalties ranging from 60 days to one year in jail, as well as fines of $500 to $1,000. These penalties may increase substantially for a Felony shoplifting conviction. Individuals facing Felony charges can be ordered to serve up to five years in prison and pay a $5,000 fine, or more, depending on the value of the property stolen.
Having a shoplifting conviction that appears on criminal background checks also can be damaging when individuals are applying for jobs, college or graduate school, credit, and housing. A crime of dishonesty can cause employers, for instance, to choose other similarly qualified job applicants over those with shoplifting convictions. Therefore, hiring a shoplifting Attorney in Deerfield Beach for legal advice may be wise when facing criminal charges.
Talk to a Deerfield Beach Shoplifting Attorney for Advice
The repercussions of a shoplifting conviction on your record can be severe and affect all aspects of your life, both personally and professionally. To minimize the risk of these ramifications, you may wish to seek the advice of a Deerfield Beach shoplifting Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert at once. By getting the legal help that you need, you may have a better chance of positively resolving your case.
You may be able to raise defenses in your case that could result in the modification or dismissal of the charges that you are facing in appropriate circumstances. Getting legal representation to raise these legal defenses properly may be crucial.