If you are facing allegations of shoplifting in Delray Beach, you need to understand your rights and what a Prosecutor needs to prove to obtain a conviction. Shoplifting can be a very serious offense, especially if you have a prior conviction or allegedly worked with another person to commit the act. As a result, shoplifting can vary in severity from a minor Misdemeanor to a harsh Felony.
A Delray Beach shoplifting Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert will be able to help you. An Attorney can explain the state’s complex shoplifting laws and why you are facing the charges brought by the Prosecutor. An Attorney can then work to discover the evidence in the case and work to bring the best possible result in Court.
Shoplifting as a Criminal Offense Under State Law
The state laws do not use the term shoplifting when describing the act of taking merchandise from a store. Instead, Florida Statute § 812.015 defines “retail theft” as the taking possession of merchandise with the intent to deprive the merchant of the use of that item. As a result, the act of taking an item out of a store without paying is retail theft.
However, the law also includes other acts that constitute shoplifting. It is also retail theft for a person to alter or remove a store’s label, remove a shopping cart from the store’s property, or transfer a product from one container to another. Additionally, it is illegal to possess or attempt to use any object that is for the purpose of defeating a store’s antitheft security measures. As a result, police officers can charge a person with shoplifting under a variety of scenarios. A Delray Beach shoplifting Attorney could help to explain exactly why a person is facing allegations of retail theft.
Allegations of Shoplifting Can be Extremely Serious
At its core, shoplifting is a version of theft, which is considered a crime of dishonesty. Charges involving retail theft allege that a person attempted to deprive a store owner of the property involved in the incident. It follows that many instances of supposed shoplifting are examples of petit theft. Under Florida Statute § 812.014, petit theft occurs when the value of the item in the incident is under $300, the case will be a Misdemeanor where a conviction can result in no more than one year in jail.
However, the state’s laws can result in enhanced penalties when an alleged theft affects a store owner. If the value of the item is at least $750 and the suspect works with another person or commits multiple acts within a 30-day period, the offense rises to the level of a Felony of the third degree. Convictions here can result in a maximum prison sentence of up to five years. A subsequent conviction for a Felony-level shoplifting case makes the offense a Felony of the second degree. A Delray Beach shoplifting Lawyer can provide more information about the seriousness of a retail theft allegation.
Contact a Delray Beach Shoplifting Attorney Today
Allegations of shoplifting, or retail theft as it is known in Delray Beach, are among the most common in local courts. However, this does not mean that the allegation is not serious. Retail theft occurs when a person takes merchandise from a store without paying, but it also includes any attempt to change a price tag, an attempt to distract a store employee to aid in a theft, or even possessing tools to defeat a security system.
A Delray Beach shoplifting Lawyer could help you. One of our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert can work to explain the state’s complex laws and why you are facing your allegations. They then help to discover the evidence in the case and to form a defense designed to defeat the prosecutor’s case in court. A conviction is always a serious matter and may even be a Felony that could result in a multiple-year prison sentence. Reach out to an Attorney today to protect your future.