If you are facing allegations of shoplifting, you need to understand your rights and what a Prosecutor needs to prove to obtain a conviction. Shoplifting can be a serious offense, especially if you have a prior conviction or allegedly worked with another person to commit the act. As a result, shoplifting can vary in severity from a minor Misdemeanor to a harsh Felony.
A Lawyer may be able to help after West Palm Beach shoplifting arrests. A shoplifting Attorney can explain the state’s complex laws and why you are facing the charges brought by a Prosecutor. The Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert can then work to discover the evidence in the case and get the best possible result in and out of Court. We are able to negotiate a Dismissal for most of our client who do not have any prior record.
Shoplifting as a Criminal Offense Under State Law
State laws do not use the term shoplifting when describing the act of taking merchandise from a store. Instead, Florida Statute § 812.015 defines taking possession of merchandise with the intent to deprive the merchant of the use of that item as retail theft.
However, the law also includes other acts that constitute shoplifting. It is also retail theft for a person to alter or remove a store’s label, remove a shopping cart from the store’s property, or transfer a product from one container to another. Additionally, possessing or attempting to use any object that can alter a store’s antitheft security measures is illegal. As a result, Police Officers can charge a person with shoplifting under various scenarios. A West Palm Beach retail theft Attorney could help to explain precisely why a person is facing an arrest.
Penalties for Shoplifting
At its core, shoplifting is a version of theft. Many instances of supposed shoplifting fall under the category of petit theft. Under Fla. Stat. § 812.014, petit theft occurs when the value of the item stolen is under $300. An individual faces a Misdemeanor where a conviction can result in no more than one year in jail.
However, the state’s laws can increase penalties when an alleged theft affects a store owner. If the value of an item is at least $750 and a suspect works with another person or commits multiple acts within 30 days, the offense rises to a Felony of the third degree. Convictions here can result in a maximum prison sentence of five years. A subsequent conviction for a Felony-level shoplifting case makes the offense a Felony of the second degree. As a result, an arrest for allegations of shoplifting in West Palm Beach is always a serious matter.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss West Palm Beach Shoplifting Arrests Today
Allegations of shoplifting are among the most common in local Courts. However, this does not mean that an allegation is not severe. Retail theft occurs when a person takes merchandise from a store without paying, but it also includes any attempt to change a price tag, distract a store employee to aid in theft, or even possess tools to defeat a security system.
A Lawyer could help you after a West Palm Beach shoplifting arrest. A Legal Representative can work to explain the state’s complex laws and why you are facing allegations. They then help discover the evidence in a case and form a defense designed to defeat a Prosecutor’s case in Court. They are ready to provide legal counsel from day one to protect your rights and work towards a brighter future. Call Leifert & Leifert today to talk about your options.