Although shoplifting means the same thing from state to state, the manner in which states deal with shoplifting charges varies considerably. If you are facing Florida shoplifting charges, a Florida shoplifting attorney can help. Having someone who has handled other similar case before can improve the likelihood that you’ll get a favorable outcome on your day in court. The penalties for shoplifting are nothing to balk at—contact an attorney today.
Most people who commit shoplifting admit to their wrongdoing. They knew what they did was against the law but did it anyways, thinking they wouldn’t get caught. This remorse can sometimes play in their favor in court, as a judge does not want to see anyone who could care less about having broken the law.
In some situations, however, shoplifting charges arise through a complete misunderstanding. Maybe you are accused of swapping tags on items, trying to get something for less than the original asking price. It might not have been your fault at all, though, if the tags were switched by someone else. Similarly, maybe an extra item ended up in your bag without your knowledge, because the clerk failed to ring it up or you didn’t realize it was wrapped within another item.
There are many scenarios that can lead to a Florida shoplifting charge. Understanding your rights within the criminal courts as it relates to your specific circumstances is something a local criminal defense attorney can help with.
Florida Shoplifting Laws & Penalties
Under Florida law, shoplifting penalties are classified as a theft and under the names “Grand Theft” or “Petit Theft”. The charge and potential sentence you face depend on the value of the goods you are accused of shoplifting. Because it’s difficult to shoplift high dollar items, most shoplifting charges are petit theft charges. However, in the case of electronics, this isn’t always true. We have included both for your review.
Petit Theft (Petty Theft)
Petit theft in the second degree is the least serious of shoplifting offenses. It applies when the value of the goods taken is less than $100. This is considered a 2nd degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines.
Petit theft in the first degree applies where the items stolen are valued at more than $100 but less than $300. This is considered a 1st degree misdemeanor and carries up to one year in jail and fines reaching $1,000.
Third degree grand theft is the charge applicable when the goods you are alleged to have stolen are valued between $300 and less than $20,000. This is considered a 3rd degree felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
Other grand theft charges can carry up to 30 years in prison. Though these aren’t normally applicable to shoplifting, it can happen on a rare occasion.
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Florida and are unsure of what to do next, the best advice is to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Contact us to speak with a local criminal defense lawyer today.