All allegations of theft can come with severe consequences. Even for items of minimal value, a conviction for petit theft will still create a criminal record and may force you to spend time in Jail. However, stealing from a store or shop comes with enhanced penalties. These apply specifically to instances of shoplifting and are in addition to any punishments that may result from a conviction under the state’s theft laws.
A seasoned Attorney can provide further information about aggravating factors in Pompano Beach shoplifting cases. They can work to create defenses that aim to avoid these penalties.
Shoplifting is Theft under State Law
Florida uses a single statute to address most allegations of theft. Florida Statute § 812.014 defines theft as taking property from an owner with the intent to deprive an owner of that property’s use.
As applied to concepts of shoplifting, taking a product from a store without paying fits into the statute’s definition. However, merely taking steps towards removing a product or paying a lesser value for it will still justify an arrest. As a result, concealing an object or removing a price tag falls under the umbrella of shoplifting.
The law determines the severity of all shoplifting cases based on the value of the items involved in the supposed theft. If the item has a value between $100 and $750, the law will classify a case as petit theft of the first degree, which is a Misdemeanor. If the value of the items is between $750 and $5,000, the charge will become a Felony. An Attorney in Pompano Beach can help explain how the value of a product involved in a supposed shoplifting incident is a main aggravating factor in shoplifting cases.
Shoplifting Convictions Bring Special Penalties
The laws in Florida provide special protections to shops and retail establishments. The law’s enhanced penalties for people with shoplifting convictions are a clear example of this dynamic. If a person has a previous conviction for shoplifting and a Court finds them guilty of another instance of retail theft, Fla. Stat. § 812.015 states that a Judge must impose an additional fine of $50 to $1,000. This penalty will apply to any other punishment a Court sees fit to enforce on a guilty party. As a result, a previous criminal record for shoplifting is another aggravating factor in Pompano Beach cases.
To further protect shops and their employees, state law also authorizes store workers to detain a person they suspect of shoplifting. Resisting these attempts is a separate criminal charge that moves forward as a Misdemeanor in addition to any core shoplifting offenses.
Let an Attorney Provide Defense Against the Aggravating Factors in Pompano Beach Shoplifting Charges
A criminal case alleging shoplifting can take on many forms. For most people, the case will move forward with petit theft charges. This applies when the value of the items is under $750. However, if the value of the items is higher, the severity of the possible penalties will also rise. In addition, a Court must impose an additional fine after another guilty result if you have a prior shoplifting conviction on your record.
A Legal Representative can further explain the aggravating factors in Pompano Beach shoplifting cases and develop a defense strategy to defeat these allegations in Court. Speak with one of our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert now to learn more.