Florida Shoplifting Law
Criminal defense attorney representing clients facing State & Federal criminal charges.
Shoplifting is a crime taken seriously in Florida and can result in significant fines and even jail time. If you have been charged with shoplifting in Miami, it is crucial to understand your rights and options and to seek the help of a skilled shoplifting attorney.
What is Shoplifting in Florida?
In Florida, shoplifting is defined as the unlawful taking of goods from a store with the intent to deprive the store of the value of the goods. This can include taking items without paying for them and altering price tags or switching tags to pay a lower price.
The penalties for shoplifting depend on the value of the goods involved. For goods valued at $100 or less, a person can be charged with petit theft, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail, and a fine up to $500. For goods valued at more than $100, but less than $750, a person can be charged with petit theft in the first degree, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, and a fine up to $1,000.If the merchandise is valued at $750 or more, the charge is grand theft, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Consequences for Shoplifting in Florida
Being convicted of shoplifting can have several consequences, including:
- Fines: You may be required to pay a fine as part of your sentence.
- Community service: You may be ordered to perform community service.
- Probation: You may be placed on probation, during which you must follow certain rules set by the court.
- Jail time: Depending on the severity of the offense, you may be sentenced to serve time in jail.
- Impact on employment: A shoplifting conviction can make it challenging to find employment, as many employers do not want to hire people with a criminal record.
- Damage to reputation: A shoplifting conviction can damage your reputation and make it challenging to build trust with others.
- Impact on education: If you are a student, a shoplifting conviction could affect your ability to get into certain schools or programs.
It is important to remember that the specific consequences you face will depend on your case's specific facts and circumstances.
Defenses to Shoplifting in Florida
A shoplifting charge can be defended in several ways. Among the possible defenses are the following:
- You must have intended to steal the item to be found guilty of shoplifting. A person cannot be found guilty of theft if he or she did not intend to steal.
- You can use an honest mistake as a defense, such as forgetting to pay for an item.
- Using duress as a defense may be possible if you were threatened or forced into committing the offense.
- You may present evidence proving your innocence if you have been falsely accused of shoplifting.
Remember that the specific defenses that may be available to you will depend on the specific facts of your case. If you have been charged with shoplifting, consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is always a good idea.
Seek Experienced Legal Counsel
It is essential to seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you have been charged with shoplifting in Miami. An experienced attorney can review your case's circumstances and advise you on the best course of action you should take. Negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutor or fighting the charges might be among the options.