If you are facing an allegation related to alleged shoplifting in Fort Lauderdale, you are right to be concerned. A conviction leaves you with a criminal record, required fines, and potentially even time behind bars.
The main factor that determines the severity of a shoplifting case is the value of the items involved. However, certain types of items will always bring enhanced penalties, as will incidents where you have a prior conviction or allegedly worked with someone else to commit an offense. These cases can be complex, so it is important to work with the best shoplifting attorneys. This is where our award-winning team at Rossen Law Firm comes in. We are ready to explain how state law determines the penalties for shoplifting in South Florida and works to craft a defense against these serious charges.
Incidents of shoplifting fall under the umbrella of the state’s theft statute. Florida Statute § 812.015 outlines misdemeanor-level theft charges, known as petit theft, and felony-level theft, known as grand theft.
The main factor that determines the severity of a shoplifting charge is the value of the items involved. For example, all items with a value of $750 or less will result in a petit theft misdemeanor charge. If the item has a value in excess of this number, the case will likely move forward as a felony.
However, other factors may allow a prosecutor to pursue a case as a felony beyond the value of the item. For instance, if the item allegedly stolen was medical equipment with a value of more than $300, the law authorizes a grand theft in the first-degree charge.
A misdemeanor conviction can never result in the payment of a fine of more than $1,000, a year in jail, or both. By contrast, felony cases can always require a prison sentence of at least one year. The most severe examples can carry a prison sentence of up to 30 years. An expert Fort Lauderdale attorney can explain the penalties associated with a particular shoplifting charge in more detail.
State law takes allegations related to shoplifting very seriously. As a result, there are special sentencing rules that apply to theft convictions that involve taking property from stores without paying for it.
According to Fla. Stat. § 812.015, any conviction for shoplifting when a person has a prior shoplifting conviction on their record requires an additional fine of between $50 and $1,000.
The same statute also allows for enhanced penalties when:
Each of these examples will lead to felony-level charges, even if the value of the items would normally result in a misdemeanor case. A skilled lawyer can go over how the penalties for shoplifting in South Florida can become more serious than those for simple theft.
Every accusation of shoplifting is a serious matter that requires your full attention. At a minimum, a case is a misdemeanor where convictions create criminal records and could require you to pay a fine. More serious cases are felonies that come with a presumption of prison time upon conviction.
Our knowledgeable attorneys at Rossen Law Firm are ready to explain the penalties for shoplifting in South Florida and walk you through your defense options. We know that many of these cases are honest mistakes and misunderstandings, and we are here to protect your rights and your future. Give us a call and schedule your strategy session today to get started.
Rossen Law Firm’s legal team understands what’s at stake when you’re charged with a crime in South Florida. We’re committed to defending you and protecting your rights. Our legal team is ready to create a customized strategy for your case to fight for the best possible outcome. We handle Criminal, DUI, Federal, Domestic Violence, Marchman Act & Baker Act cases, and more.
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