When you are arrested for shoplifting in Florida, you are likely concerned about the impact the charges could have on your life upon conviction. Retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you is crucial when you face accusations of shoplifting. We understand that mistakes happen. Our job is to help you craft a defense strategy to mitigate the impact of your charges.
Securing legal representation as soon as possible after being charged with an offense like shoplifting is crucial. While retail theft is not a violent crime, it carries significant penalties, and a conviction could impact your life for years to come. A Tavares shoplifting lawyer could defend you against theft offenses. Contact a hardworking defense attorney at our office to discuss your defense.
Florida Shoplifting Laws
In Florida, retail theft occurs when someone takes another person’s property to permanently deprive the merchant of profiting from the item’s value. Retail theft could be petit or grand, depending on the value of the alleged stolen property. Petit theft includes stolen items that do not exceed $300, while grand theft includes stolen items that exceed $300.
Even though retail theft is not a serious or violent crime, it could still result in prison time upon conviction. Having a criminal record could affect where you can live and your ability to gain employment. Many alleged defendants also feel their relationships suffer when facing a shoplifting conviction. Reach out to a knowledgeable attorney in Tavares to learn more about laws regarding retail theft convictions.
Penalties for Retail Theft in Florida
Penalties for retail theft in Florida range depending on the value of the allegedly stolen item and whether the accused person has a criminal record. The court is more likely to impose a harsh sentence when the alleged suspect has a history of stealing high-value items.
Retailers in Florida can also pursue civil action against someone who steals from them. Restitution could be three times the cost of the allegedly stolen item. Speak to a Tavares lawyer to determine what penalties you might face when charged with shoplifting.
Fighting Against Shoplifting Charges
There are many ways to defend against shoplifting charges. The State must prove that the person accused of retail theft intended to take the property to get a conviction. For example, a common defense in retail theft cases is lack of intent: when the accused stole by accident or mistake, they could avoid a conviction. Intent is a crucial element in all shoplifting cases.
A dedicated attorney in Tavares will review the circumstances of a shoplifting charge to determine whether any defenses are available. Defense counsel could convince the State to reduce or drop the charges if the prosecutor lacks sufficient evidence to support a conviction. Numerous defenses could be available even when a retail theft case goes to trial.
Consult a Tavares Shoplifting Lawyer
When facing criminal charges for retail theft, retain a competent criminal defense attorney to represent you. While shoplifting is not a violent crime, a conviction could impact your life forever. A misdemeanor or felony conviction will likely impact your employment opportunities and living situation. A Tavares shoplifting lawyer could assist you with developing a defense. Do not hesitate to contact a legal team member with questions.