7th May 2019
Shoplifting in Florida is a misdemeanor offense that can start with the suspect detained in a store. If the individual is unaware of his or her rights, this could lead to submitting to the detainment and answering incriminating questions. A South Florida criminal defense attorney can explain what rights this person has during the detainment and before. If there is any doubt about what rights exist, it is important to consult with a South Florida criminal defense attorney.
The Shoplifting Law
Shoplifting charges may consist of either petit or grand theft, depending on the value of stolen merchandise. Florida defines this crime as the taking of property, merchandise or cash from a store. Security or the owner of the shop may detain the suspect or take photos of license plates to investigate whether this crime was committed.
Petit theft is the less serious crime. It involves taking property with a value less than $100. It is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is 60 days in a county jail and a fine up to $500. If the value of the stolen property is between $101 to $300, this is a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is one year in county jail and a fine up to $1,000. For stolen property valued at $301 to $5,000, the crime is considered a third-degree grand theft felony. The maximum penalty is five years in a state prison and a fine up to $5,000.
Defenses for Shoplifting
There may be a variety of defenses to shoplifting, such as forgetting to pay before leaving the store, accidentally leaving an item in a cart after making a purchase or another mistake. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer can help establish the lack of intent.