Experiencing an arrest is traumatic, confusing, and frightening. Delray Beach shoplifting arrests are serious offenses that may carry significant legal and future consequences. When the Police arrest you for shoplifting, you need answers concerning the definition of shoplifting, defenses, potential penalties, and your legal rights.
Speaking to a defense Attorney with experience handling shoplifting cases is your best course of action. The Lawyers at Leifert & Leifert can answer your questions, explain your options, advise you through this difficult time, and help you obtain the best possible result.
Shoplifting Definition and Penalties
Shoplifting is the act of unlawfully taking unpaid merchandise from a retail establishment. Shoplifting can encompass various actions, including concealing items, altering price tags, or removing security devices. Even if the merchandise fails to make it off the store’s premises, you may be temporarily depriving the merchant of the property and the opportunity to sell it to someone else. This activity is still considered shoplifting under Florida law and can still result in an arrest and conviction.
An arrest for shoplifting in Delray Beach can lead to penalties based on numerous factors, including the price of the stolen goods and the offender’s criminal history. Generally, the State classifies shoplifting offenses as Misdemeanors or Felonies. Misdemeanor charges typically apply for thefts involving lower-value items, while Felony charges apply to more substantial thefts or repeat offenses.
The offense is generally considered a Misdemeanor for shoplifting incidents involving merchandise valued at less than $750. Misdemeanor shoplifting charges can result in fines, probation, community service, and even short Jail sentences, depending on the circumstances. Often times, though, we are able to successfully negotiate a complete Dismissal of these charges, under the right circumstances.
When the retail price of the stolen goods exceeds $750 or the individual has previous convictions for theft-related crimes, the offense will likely result in a Felony charge. Felony shoplifting carries more severe penalties, including longer Jail sentences, higher fines, and a permanent criminal record. We have been able to get first offense charges that are over $750 reduced and even Dismissed.
Apart from the legal implications, shoplifting can also lead to civil consequences. Retailers have the right to pursue civil action against shoplifters to recover damages resulting from the theft. This can involve seeking restitution for the stolen merchandise and associated costs, such as security measures or lost revenue. This may also have an impact on present and future employment as well as where you can rent an apartment.
Legal Rights After an Arrest For Shoplifting
A person arrested by the Police in Delray Beach for shoplifting must know their legal rights. When a shoplifting incident occurs, the store may detain the suspect until Law Enforcement arrives. Upon arrival, the Police will investigate, which may include reviewing surveillance footage, obtaining witness statements, and searching the individual and their belongings for other items that may have been taken. Any other contraband found (i.e. drugs) can lead to additional charges as well.
Any person detained has the right against self-incrimination, commonly conveyed as the right to remain silent. The detainee also has the right to Legal Representation during questioning and throughout a case. When arrested, a person should exercise these rights, remain silent and contact a skilled Attorney as soon as possible.
An Attorney will review the case details, protect the Client’s rights, and work to build a strong defense strategy. Among many other benefits, defense counsel may engage in all the following acts on the detainee’s behalf:
- Protect the accused’s rights.
- Conduct a thorough investigation.
- File pretrial motions to limit or exclude evidence.
- Negotiate for a reduced charge or sentence.
- Provide strong representation at trial.
- Present mitigating sentencing arguments for the least possible sentence.
In some cases, alternative resolutions may be available for first-time offenders or those accused of minor shoplifting arrests. These may include diversion programs, pretrial interventions, or community service, which can help individuals avoid formal criminal charges or reduce the severity of the penalties.
Legal Representation is crucial to navigating the legal system’s complexities and increasing the likelihood of a positive resolution.
Contact an Attorney After Delray Beach Shoplifting Arrests
Delray Beach shoplifting arrests can have severe consequences, making it crucial to understand the various aspects of these cases. Consulting with a criminal defense Attorney is vital if you face a shoplifting charge. By understanding your legal rights and working with an experienced Attorney, you can work for the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today for an initial consultation and review of your case.