Many people assume that shoplifting is a relatively minor offense, but a conviction can result in serious consequences. If you are facing shoplifting in Florida, an experienced and aggressive legal team is your best protection against a conviction.
Plantation shoplifting lawyers have successfully defended individuals against misdemeanor and felony retail theft charges and can tirelessly pursue the best outcome possible for your case.
Florida Shoplifting Laws
Shoplifting involves theft of property or merchandise from a retail store. Under Florida Statutes Section 812.015(1)(d), a person commits shoplifting (also known as retail theft) if they knowingly:
- Takes possession of or carries away merchandise
- Alters or removes a label or price tag from merchandise
- Transfers merchandise from a container to another
- Removes a shopping cart from the merchant’s property
Or, with intent to deprive the merchant of possession, use, benefit, or full retail value of the merchandise or shopping cart.
The term merchandise includes any personal property, capable of being displayed, held, manually delivered, or offered for retail sale by a merchant. Shoplifting is one of the most commonly charged theft offenses in Florida and prosecutors often rely on the use of video surveillance, statements of the accused, or the testimony of loss prevention officers as evidence to obtain a conviction.
Potential Shoplifting Penalties
Shoplifting can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony of varying degrees depending on the value of the stolen merchandise. The offense of shoplifting is classified as petit theft if the value of the stolen merchandise is less than $300 and grand theft if the stolen merchandise is worth more than $300.
The penalties for violating Plantation shoplifting laws are as follows:
- If the value of the stolen merchandise is more than $100, but less than $300, it is classified as first-degree petit theft, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000
- If the value of the stolen merchandise is less than $100, it is classified as second-degree petit theft, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and fines of up to $500
- If the value of the stolen merchandise is more than $300, but less than $5,000, it is classified as third-degree grand theft, which is a felony punishable by up to five years in state prison and/or a $5,000 fine
The penalties of a shoplifting conviction in Plantation can also be influenced by certain aggravating factors such as a prior theft conviction, the use of a weapon during the commission of the offense.
In addition to jail time and fines, a conviction for shoplifting may result in civil restitution payments, probation, community service, and having to attend a retail theft course. First time offenders may qualify for a pre-trial diversion program, which can ultimately lead to the dismissal of charges.
How Plantation Shoplifting Lawyers Can Help
Plantation shoplifting lawyers can improve your chances of obtaining a position resolution to your case by anticipating the arguments of prosecutors, fighting for your rights at every stage of the criminal process, and protecting your interests in court.
Contact today to discuss your legal options and learn how skilled attorneys can build a customized defense strategy for your case.