Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense & Personal Injury Attorneys
Arrested for Shoplifting? We Can Help Drop Theft Charges

Fort Lauderdale Shoplifting Attorney

Shoplifting in Florida

Shoplifting may seem minor, however, being charged with such a crime carries serious consequences that may result in heavy fines and possible jail or prison time. In Florida, shoplifting is defined as unlawfully taking possession of property with the intention of depriving the merchant of it. Person handcuffed for shoplifting

Altering or removing price tags, as well as transferring item into another container also falls under the crime of shoplifting. There are criminal and civil penalties associated with these crimes and they should be taken very seriously.

That is why you need a theft crime lawyer who can skillfully defend your rights. At our firm, we can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.

What Is Considered Shoplifting?

While many people think of shoplifting as a minimal, often juvenile offense, it is treated far differently by the law. If you have been accused of retail theft, you cannot take this criminal charge lightly. Your future and reputation, and freedom could be on the line at this time!

What does the state of Florida define as shoplifting?

  • Taking possession of/carrying away a merchant’s property
  • Altering the labels or price tags of a product
  • Removing a shopping cart from a store
  • Transferring merchandise from one package/container to another

Any of these actions must be coupled with the intent to deprive the merchant of the use of, possession of, or full retail value of the product in question. As you can see, even the simple act of switching price tags on an item could result in you facing criminal charges.

What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting in Florida?

Shoplifting has severe penalties that vary depending on the worth of the stolen property and the circumstances surrounding the shoplifting incident.

The penalties include some of the following:

  • Property stolen was less than $100:
    Second-degree misdemeanor and may be fined up to $500 and sentenced up to 60 days in jail.
  • Property stolen was between $100 and $300:
    First-degree misdemeanor and may be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced up to a year in jail.
  • Property stolen was between $300 and $20,000:
    Third-degree felony and may be fined up to $5,000 and sentenced up to 5 years in prison.
  • Property stolen was between $20,000 and $100,000:
    Second-degree felony and may be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced up to 15 years in prison.
  • Property stolen was more than $100,000:
    First-degree felony and may be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced up to 30 years in prison.

In addition to these penalties, you can also face civil penalties. The merchant whose property was stolen has the right to sue a shoplifter in civil court for three times the actual damages caused (the value of the stolen property), with a minimum fine of $200. That means you could face an additional $200 fee for an item worth $5. Finally, you may also be ordered to pay for attorney’s fees and court costs.

Defending Your Theft Crime Case

It is important to build your defense to prove you were wrongly accused and clear your name. Even if you unintentionally took or removed an item out of negligence, we can fight to have your charges dropped or reduced.

We can use the following defenses in shoplifting cases:

  • Lack of intent to steal
  • Mistaken identity
  • Lack of evidence the crime took place
  • Plea bargain for a lesser sentence

Retaining legal representation is vital when you have been accused of shoplifting.

If you need a qualified theft crime attorney, we can help.

Allow Us to Assist You: Call for a Free Consultation

If you are being accused of shoplifting, it is crucial to obtain our legal help. Our criminal defense attorney team can provide you with exceptional guidance and defense. We can investigate the circumstances of your charges to find any doubt or false information. Having handled thousands of criminal cases, we are more than prepared to take on your case. You can feel secure knowing you will receive personalized and aggressive legal representation.

Contact Rudenberg and Glasser, to receive more information!

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