The primary reasons the state of Florida has a retail theft statute is so that merchants can detain a shoplifter without worrying about having to face civil liability issues. Some of the offenses that are included under a “retail theft” umbrella including dealing in stolen property, grand theft, petit theft and resisting the efforts of a merchant to attempt and recover their stolen items.
Most retail establishments have resource officers in place just for this reason. These officers are good at building a solid case and usually adhere to a zero-tolerance policy. In the state of Florida, retail theft is often commonly referred to as petit theft or shoplifting.
Getting to know more about retail theft and the consequences you may face in this situation can be beneficial. Learn more here.
Florida Law and Retail Theft
For the majority of shoplifting situations, the theft will be charged under Section 812.014 as being one of the following:
- 3rd Degree Felony: If the merchandise involved totaled more than $300
- 1st Degree Misdemeanor: If the merchandise was valued at less than $300
- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor: This is charged if the items are valued at less than $100
In some cases, a felony version of the petit theft may be charged, if the defendant has at least two other convictions prior to this arrest.
Hiring an Attorney for Retail Theft Charges
If you are facing charges for retail theft, or any other type of theft, such as grand theft or petit theft, then the best thing you can do is contact an experienced Florida criminal attorney. They can review the facts of the case and begin building a defense to help you with the situation.
Elements of the Retail Theft Statute in Florida
According to the law in Florida, the elements involved in any retail theft include the following:
The defendant knowingly:
- Carried away or took possession of merchandise
- Removed or altered a price tag or label from merchandise
- Move the merchandise from its original container to another
- Removed a shopping cart from the retail location’s premises
In any situation where a person intended to deprive a merchant of the possession, benefit, use or the full retail value of a shopping cart or merchandise, it is considered retail theft and the person committing the act can be charged with a crime.
Why Hiring a Retail Theft Attorney is the Best Option?
If you are facing any type of retail theft charges, it is best to take action and hire a quality, experienced criminal attorney. The attorney you hire will be able to review the facts of the case and begin to build a defense to help have the charges reduced or dropped completely. Keep in mind, criminal law can be complex and as a result, having an attorney who understands the statutes is imperative.
If you are facing any type of criminal charges for a retail theft, the best thing you can do is hire an attorney for help. If you need more information, you can contact the team of criminal defense lawyers who are well-versed in retail theft law in Florida by contacting the Law office of Jeffrey Thompson by calling 321-253-3771.