Many people believe that shoplifting is less serious than some other crimes. However, defendants in West Palm Beach shoplifting Trials can be subject to felony consequences such steep fines and years in prison.
When facing shoplifting or retail theft charges, it is crucial that you obtain legal representation. A Leifert & Leifert attorney can work with you to understand your charges and build a strong defense that protects your rights and future prospects.
Shoplifting Charges Vary Based on Price
Defendants on trial for shoplifting in West Palm Beach can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on items they allegedly stole. Because shoplifting, also known as retail theft, is penalized based on the value of the property stolen, the consequences of stealing an item can vary greatly based on its price.
For instance, “Petit theft” is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines for unspecified property worth $100 or less. However, when the value of the stolen property is between $101 and $750, then the petit theft is a first-degree misdemeanor, resulting in a $1000 fine and up to one-year imprisonment. Moreover, if the stolen goods are worth between $750 and $20,000, then the accused party may land in prison for five years, strapped with a $5000 fine.
Lastly, there are also rare but serious grand theft charges which carry 30-year prison sentences for convicted parties. This charge requires a vigorous and comprehensive legal defense. Consulting a Leifert & Leifert attorney with retail theft trial experience in West Palm Beach is in your best interests for any type of theft case.
Civil Trials for Shoplifting in West Palm Beach
In West Palm Beach, merchants who have suffered property loss as a result of shoplifting can sue in civil court for approximately three times the amount of damages they have suffered. Additionally, an injured merchant may seek to recover attorney’s fees and court costs.
Furthermore, if the accused party is a minor, the merchant may hold the minor’s parents responsible for paying the resulting damage. However, a merchant must notify shoplifters before being held civilly responsible. Paying back the damages within 30 days of receiving notice can help you avoid being held liable.
The addition of a civil trial for shoplifting in West Palm Beach can amplify the stakes of your case. After facing prison time and fines, civil damages several times the value of stolen goods can place you in financial jeopardy, which is why it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney who can present a robust defense on your behalf.
Get Representation For Your Shoplifting Trial in West Palm Beach
No shoplifting or retail theft charge in West Palm Beach should be taken lightly. The imminent threat of civil and criminal trials means that the potential consequences are almost always significant.
However, a Leifert & Leifert lawyer who has experience with West Palm Beach shoplifting trials can help you defend your rights, reputation, and your freedom. During your free initial consultation, we can review your case and discuss your legal options. Give us a call today to get started.