A shoplifting offense on your record can have significant long-term consequences, making it more difficult to obtain employment and further your education. If you are facing shoplifting or retail theft charges, you should consider speaking with a Pompano Beach shoplifting lawyer.
You may be fearing the worst when you are charged with shoplifting, but there are alternative forms of resolution that may be available to you, including Dismissal through a diversion program and/or the eventual expungement of records. A seasoned theft attorney from the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert can you explore these options for resolving your case in a positive manner.
Shoplifting in Pompano Beach
Shoplifting—also known as retail theft—generally involves the taking of merchandise from a retail store. However, shoplifting can also take the form of:
- Changing or removing price tags on merchandise
- Removing merchandise from one container and placing it in another
- Removing a shopping cart from a store
To qualify as the criminal offense of shoplifting, the intent behind all actions must be to deprive the retailer of the full value or possession of the stolen merchandise. Since shoplifting can result in many negative implications for the accused, consulting with a shoplifting lawyer in Pompano Beach may be advantageous.
Potential Penalties for Shoplifting
When merchandise is worth less than $300, the associated criminal charge is petit theft under Florida Statutes § 812.014, which is a Misdemeanor offense. If the merchandise is worth less than $100, the charge would be a second-degree Misdemeanor, and if it is worth between $100 and $300, the charge would be a first-degree Misdemeanor. Additionally, individuals may face first-degree Misdemeanor charges if they have a previous theft conviction.
For a second-degree petit theft conviction, individuals may serve up to 60 days in jail, be required to pay a $500 fine or both. However, if a person is convicted of first-degree theft, the potential jail sentence increases to one year and the fine to $1,000. Given the potential severity of these penalties, which all include the possibility of serving jail time, contacting a Pompano Beach shoplifting attorney may be helpful.
How Could Shoplifting Become a Felony Offense?
In some circumstances, shoplifting or retail theft becomes a Felony under Florida law. If individuals have two or more previous convictions for any theft offense and commit petit theft, they may be subject to grand theft charges as a third-degree Felony. Shoplifting is also a third-degree Felony if it involves merchandise valued between $300 and $20,000.
Fla. Stat. §812.015, which governs retail theft and various other types of theft, also outlaws the possession, use, or attempted use of antishoplifting and inventory control countermeasure devices in retail stores. For example, it is illegal to possess a device that removes security tags from clothing while present in any retail store. This offense is also a third-degree Felony.
A third-degree Felony conviction could result in a maximum five-year prison sentence or a $5,000 fine, or both. Felony convictions of any type can have consequences that beyond incarceration and fines, including the loss of the right to own a firearm and serve on a jury.
A Felony conviction could also make some careers impossible to pursue. Individuals with Felony convictions typically cannot hold certain state occupational licenses or hold public office. Although individuals with Felony convictions now may vote in the state of Florida, they are ineligible to vote until after they have served their sentences. Individuals facing Felony shoplifting penalties should contact a dedicated lawyer from Leifert & Leifert immediately.
Consult a Pompano Beach Shoplifting Attorney for Advice
While shoplifting may initially seem to be a minor offense, a conviction could result in many unanticipated consequences that may have adverse effects on your life. From a permanent criminal record to jail time, your personal and professional life could suffer significantly from a shoplifting conviction. If you are facing allegations of shoplifting, you may wish to consult with a Pompano Beach shoplifting lawyer right away.
Although shoplifting charges may seem overwhelming, there may be options available to you that may reduce, eliminate, or resolve your criminal charges more favorably. Having experienced defense counsel at your side throughout your criminal proceedings may make all the difference between going to jail and resolving your charges with a minimal impact on your life. Call Leifert & Leifert today to get started on your case.