Shoplifting is a common case that goes before criminal courts in Wellington. Although many people view these events as minor annoyances, State law offers severe penalties for convictions.
The severity of penalties for shoplifting in Wellington depends on many factors. Among these are the value of the items involved in the event, any previous history of shoplifting, and whether a person acted in concert with another to commit the theft. Understanding how a shoplifting conviction may impact your future can help you decide how you want to move forward with your defense. A skilled Attorney could provide further information about the state’s shoplifting laws and how they punish offenders.
Most Shoplifting Cases are Misdemeanors
Florida Statute § 812.015 is the State’s shoplifting law. It refers to taking property from a merchant without paying for it as retail theft. However, the basic concept remains the same. It is also illegal to take any step toward committing shoplifting. This may include removing price tags, concealing merchandise on one’s person, or attempting to distract an employee.
Most examples of shoplifting are Misdemeanors. This is because they fall under the state’s core theft statute. Here, the seriousness of a charge depends on the value of the items involved in the incident. When the property has a value of less than $750, the maximum punishment for a conviction is one year in Jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Shoplifting can also be a Misdemeanor of the second degree, where the longest Jail term is 60 days.
Examples of shoplifting thefts in Wellington can also bring enhanced penalties if a person has prior convictions on their record. If a conviction is a second or greater, the court must impose a fine of between $50 and $1,000 in addition to other penalties. An Attorney could provide further information about when shoplifting is a Misdemeanor case.
Retail Theft can be a Felony
While most examples of shoplifting are Misdemeanors, the supposed facts involved in a theft may lead a Prosecutor to pursue a case as a Felony. This is appropriate under a variety of circumstances.
The most direct is when the property involved has a value of more than $750. Here, the case will move forward as a Felony regardless of any other factors. A Felony always has the potential to result in a Prison sentence of at least one year. The most serious examples can bring sentences as long as 30 years. Other factors that may result in a case moving forward as a Felony include:
- Acting in concert with another person to commit the theft
- A prior conviction for a Felony-level shoplifting offense
- Conspiring with another person to sell the property that they gained through shoplifting
A Felony-level accusation of shoplifting demands a person’s full attention. Convictions for a Felony will follow a person for the rest of their life and affect their present and foreseeable future. A Lawyer in Wellington could help explain the penalties for shoplifting when the case is a Felony.
Contact an Attorney Now to Hear More About the Penalties for Shoplifting in Wellington
Shoplifting is an allegation that can turn into a life-altering accusation. Thankfully, most shoplifting cases are Misdemeanors under the law, where a conviction is unlikely to result in Jail time. However, other examples are Felonies, where convictions come with mandatory minimum Prison sentences.
Understanding the possible penalties for shoplifting in Wellington could help inform you how to move forward with your case. This could include seeking a fair plea deal or working towards promoting a powerful defense at trial. Speak with an Attorney at Leifert & Leifert now to discover more.