A theft conviction can have various unwanted consequences for your life. For example, you may suffer the impact of damage to your professional reputation and the loss of your job. Your personal life is also likely to feel the adverse ramifications of a theft conviction, as well. In addition, incarceration, fines, and other costly repercussions of a conviction can be a burden to your family.
By consulting one of our trusted Attorneys right away about the theft charges that you are facing, you may have a better chance of minimizing or avoiding some of these potential consequences. A Loxahatchee shoplifting Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert may be able to safeguard your standing in the community and avoid the stigma of a criminal conviction.
Defining Retail Theft in Loxahatchee
Under Fla. Stat. § 812.015, retail theft occurs when individuals engage in various actions that typically constitute shoplifting or theft of anything from retail stores or businesses. These actions include:
- Taking or removing any property from a store
- Changing or removing price tags, UPCs, or labels from merchandise
- Transferring merchandise from one container to another
- Removing shopping carts from the store premises
To convict individuals of retail theft, the state must prove that the accused persons took one or more of these specific actions. It also must be proven that the persons intended to deprive the store owner of the benefits of the full possession, use, or value of the property. A Loxahatchee shoplifting Lawyer may be able to help defend individuals facing allegations of retail theft under some circumstances.
Potential Penalties following a Shoplifting Conviction
The level of a shoplifting charge depends primarily on the value of the goods involved in the offense. Most shoplifting cases involve Misdemeanor or Petit theft charges, which apply to goods worth less than $750. However, in some cases, a shoplifting charge would be charged as a Felony, such as if individuals steal a firearm from a retail establishment or if the stolen goods are worth more than $750.
Individuals facing a second shoplifting conviction are subject to a mandatory fine ranging between $50 and $1,000. However, in its discretion, the Court may require the accused persons to complete community service hours instead of paying a fine. The number of required community service hours should be enough to pay the fine based on the prevailing hourly minimum wage at the time of sentencing.
For Misdemeanor retail theft convictions, penalties can range from 60 days up to one year in jail. Individuals convicted of Misdemeanor retail theft also may be ordered to pay fines ranging from $500 to $1,000. Felony retail theft convictions typically are third-degree Felony charges, which carry the potential for even more severe penalties, such as up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Collateral Consequences of Shoplifting
Any form of theft is a crime of inherent dishonesty. A criminal conviction that sheds doubt on the truthfulness of individuals can be highly damaging to their professional lives. Even facing retail theft charges can cause individuals to lose their current jobs and have more significant challenges in finding new jobs.
A criminal background that contains a theft conviction can make it impossible for persons to pursue some jobs and careers. A theft conviction also may adversely affect the ability to find rental housing or get mortgage loan funding to purchase a home. As a result, individuals may wish to strongly consider the merits of hiring a shoplifting Attorney in Loxahatchee for legal representation and defense.
Consult a Loxahatchee Shoplifting Attorney Today
The penalties that you can receive for a shoplifting conviction can include jail time and fines. You could also suffer other negative consequences for having a criminal record of theft that appears on background checks in the future.
When you are facing any theft charges, you are likely to need the legal assistance that only experienced legal counsel can offer you. Contacting a Loxahatchee shoplifting Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert may be the most effective means of avoiding or reducing the risk of the potentially disastrous ramifications of a theft conviction. By raising pertinent defenses and mitigating circumstances, you may be able to obtain reduced or dismissed charges. Together, you could work to combat the charges against you and reach a resolution that is best for you and your family.