A shoplifting accusation can be handed out anytime a shop owner believes a person took something without their permission, or without paying for the item first. Misunderstandings do happen and are quickly resolved. However, in many cases, a shoplifting charge could lead to a criminal conviction if legal action is not taken quickly.
Depending upon the value of the item(s) taken, if you have been accused of shoplifting, you could be at risk of going to jail or prison. A criminal conviction could have adverse consequences to your livelihood and lifestyle, thus making the services of our skilled Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert extremely valuable. To get started on building a defense, be sure to reach out to a Jupiter shoplifting defense lawyer today for a free case review.
What is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting is the illegal taking of property from a store without the consent of the store owner and/or without paying for it. You may be charged with shoplifting if you physically carried something away from a store, changed or removed a price tag, and temporarily or permanently deprived the owner of the use or benefit of that item, either permanently or temporarily. Depending upon the severity of the crime, you may be charged with a Felony or Misdemeanor offense. The following acts may necessitate a shoplifting accusation:
- Physically carrying away property without paying for it
- Controlling property, such as hiding it or damaging it and preventing the sale
- Changing or removing a price tag
- Putting property in a different container
- Taking a shopping cart with the intent of keeping it
Petit Theft, Grand Theft, and Shoplifting
When charged with a shoplifting offense in Florida, you may either be charged with petit theft, grand theft or a shoplifting offense. According to Florida Statute §812.014, it is petit theft/shoplifting when the property involved is worth less than $300. If convicted, you may also be required to pay a $1,000 fine and spend at up to one year in prison.
If the property taken is worth more than $300, the shoplifting offense would be considered to be a grand theft shoplifting. This is considered a third-degree Felony, as per Florida Statute §812.015. If you are found possessing a control device countermeasure inside a store, you may also be charged with a third-degree felony and face up to five years in prison and be required to pay up to a $5,000 fine.
If you were previously convicted of committing a petit theft/shoplifting offense in the past, a subsequent conviction may result in a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000. If the past conviction was a grand shoplifting offense, you may be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000 fine and serve a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Forceful & Illegal Actions Against Suspect Shoplifters
If a merchant or employee suspected you of shoplifting in Jupiter, they may be able to take you into custody and detain you themselves for a reasonable amount of time in a fair manner before the Police or Law Enforcement arrives on the scene. When this is the case, the store owner/employee should immediately call the police. If the method in which the store detains you is unreasonable, they may be charged with a false imprisonment offense. Basically, a merchant can use reasonable force to detain you until the police arrive.
Get Help from a Jupiter Shoplifting Lawyer
Facing a criminal offense could be one of the most intimidating experiences of your life. Not only is your reputation at stake, your future endeavors would also be in jeopardy upon receiving a charge or conviction. It may become incredibly difficult to obtain a job, obtain housing, or have full access to citizens’ rights if you have a criminal conviction on your record.
If you wish to avoid a conviction, jail, prison or any life-altering stain on your record schedule a consultation with a hard-working Attorney at Leifert & Leifert. A Jupiter shoplifting Lawyer will fight to get the best result possible for you.