Florida Ticket Firm and its South Florida criminal defense attorneys help people accused of shoplifting (retail theft), petit theft and petit larceny. Shoplifting, also known as retail theft, involves taking store merchandise that doesn’t belong to you without paying for it. Shoplifting is stealing. Shoplifting is a crime. The criminal penalties for shoplifting are serious as are the real life penalties and consequences that you could face having a criminal record for misdemeanor shoplifting.
A person with a criminal record for stealing is automatically out of the running for many jobs in the eyes of many employers. Shoplifting is a crime involving dishonesty; it’s a crime involving stealing from someone else. Employers want employees who they can trust to look out for the employer and to protect the employer’s property. Employers do not want to hire someone who is untrustworthy and who might steal from the employer.
Florida Shoplifting Law
In Florida, shoplifting is a form of theft that occurs when someone takes merchandise from a store with the intent to deprive the store of that merchandise without paying for it. Shoplifting can take many forms, from simply concealing an item in a purse or backpack to more elaborate schemes involving multiple individuals and elaborate tactics. Regardless of the specifics of the offense, shoplifting is a serious crime that can result in serious legal consequences.
Under Florida law, shoplifting is typically charged as a form of petit theft, which is defined as theft of property valued at less than $750. However, depending on the circumstances of the offense, shoplifting may be charged as a more serious offense such as grand theft, which can carry penalties including fines, probation, and even jail time in some cases.
Can You get a Citation for Shoplifting?
In Florida, the penalties for shoplifting can be significant, depending on the circumstances of the offense.
For first-time offenders, shoplifting may result in a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $500, as well as the possibility of community service or probation. Repeat offenders may face more serious penalties, such as larger fines, longer probation periods, and even jail time. Additionally, those convicted of shoplifting may be required to pay restitution to the store from which they stole the merchandise. In some cases, shoplifting tickets or citations for shoplifting may be issued instead of formal criminal charges, but even these citations can result in significant financial penalties and other consequences.
Why do People Shoplift?
People end up in trouble for shoplifting for a variety of reasons. Sometimes someone accidentally walks out of a store holding onto a piece of merchandise that they forgot to put back. Other times, a child places an item in a bag or purse, and their parent or relative unknowingly walks out of the store with it.
Other times, someone has fallen on difficult and hard financial times. They have lost their job, are unemployed and there are no good job prospects on the horizon. They are desperate and trying to feed themselves or their family. Feeling the pressure to provide food for their family and particularly their young children, they resort to shoplifting groceries, toys or other essential items they think they need to survive.
Many of these people feel badly about stealing and intend to pay the money back to their victims just as soon as they get back on their feet, but unfortunately have reached a point where they do not see another current alternative for survival. Other people who are not in their situation, can’t understand or don’t understand – and hopefully, for their sake, they’ll never have to understand – being in a situation where shoplifting seems like the only answer. Regardless, stealing is against the law.
Our attorneys know the best defenses to criminal charges for misdemeanor shoplifting (retail theft), petit theft, and petit larceny.
Desperation can cause good people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Desperation can cause people to commit crimes like shoplifting. Desperation does not make stealing right, and it’s not a valid legal defense, but it does sometimes help explain why someone resorts to shoplifting, and can potentially affect the criminal punishment imposed.
Other shoplifters have plenty of money and steal for the thrill of seeing if they can get away with stealing, or they steal on a dare due to peer pressure. Some shoplifters are kleptomaniacs and steal because of an incurable medical condition that causes them to feel uncontrollably compelled to steal.
Good people make mistakes all of the time. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system does not necessarily look at your lifetime resume of good deeds when deciding whether you broke the law and how you will be punished – even though mitigating factors are sometimes considered when it comes to sentencing. Florida Ticket Firm’s shoplifting lawyers know the best defenses to criminal charges for misdemeanor shoplifting (retail theft), petit theft and petit larceny, and they can improve your odds of the most favorable outcome with respect to your criminal charges for stealing.
If you have been arrested for shoplifting or charged with petit theft in Florida, call Florida Ticket Firm today at 844-352-3476 for an initial FREE CONSULTATION.