Shoplifting Retail Theft
Shoplifting, retail theft, petty theft, petit theft or grand theft charges can stem from a variety of situations, such as:
- When an individual accidentally walked out of a store with a merchandise item,
- When an individual mistakenly put an item in their bag that belonged to the store,
- When an individual switches tags to receive a lower price or deeper discount and/or
- If a store item or piece of merchandise fell into the alleged shoplifter’s purse.
Retail theft charges can arise from a number of situations, and often the alleged offender did not intentionally steal from the store or intend to keep the item they allegedly stole. Unfortunately, even if the individual did not intend to commit a shoplifting offense, they can still face severe penalties and punishments, such as jail or prison time, restitution, fines and/or a criminal record.
Many employers will not consider a job applicant for certain positions if they have been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty, such as theft or fraud, even if the crime was a misdemeanor offense. Additionally, offenses involving moral turpitude, like theft, will likely prevent an individual from being accepted into many colleges and graduate school programs.Jacksonville Shoplifting / Retail Theft Lawyer
If you have been charged with shoplifting in Jacksonville, or any of the surrounding areas in Florida, including Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine, Orange Park, or Fernandina Beach, contact Roelke Law, P.A. Bill Roelke is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to identify mitigating factors or defenses to your shoplifting allegations. Call Roelke Law today for a free consultation at (904) 354-0333 about your alleged shoplifting offense.
Shoplifting Offenses in Jacksonville
Retail Theft (Shoplifting) – Fla. Stat. § 812.015 - An individual can be charged with this offense if they take possession of a store’s merchandise, property or money that belongs to the store with the intent to deprive the merchant of the retail value, benefit, possession or use of the item.
An individual can be charged with shoplifting in Jacksonville if they take items from any store, such as Wal-Mart, Sears, Target, Stein Mart, Regency Square Mall, Dillard’s and American Eagle Outfitters. Shoplifting charges can also arise when an individual alters, changes or removes price labels or tags on merchandise, transfer items from one package to another or takes a shopping cart from a store. Additionally, if an individual possesses any item that removes anti-shoplifting devices without being in lawful possession, they can be charged with a criminal theft offense.
Petit Theft – Fla. Stat. § 812.014 - An individual can be charged with petit theft in Jacksonville if the item of the stolen merchandise is less than $300. This type of theft can be in the first or second degree.
Grand Theft – Fla. Stat. § 812.014 - An individual can be charged with this offense if the stolen item is $300 or more. This offense can be in the first, second or third degree and can also be any theft that is not petit theft.
The state prosecutor has the burden of proving the alleged offender was guilty of every element to their theft or shoplifting offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Although this is a difficult burden to meet, prosecutors will use the following evidence to prove their theft case:
- Store camera surveillance
- Eyewitness testimony
- Testimony for the stores employees
- Actions or statements made by the alleged offender
Jacksonville Penalties for Shoplifting
An individual who has been charged with shoplifting or retail theft in Jacksonville can face various penalties, depending on the amount the alleged offender stole and whether they have any previous convictions. The following are the suggested statutory penalties for retail theft and shoplifting offenses:
- An individual charged with petite theft in the second degree could be convicted of a misdemeanor of the second degree, which is punishable by a fine up to $500 and/or a jail sentence up to 60 days.
- An individual charged with petit theft in the first degree could be convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree, which is punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or a jail sentence up to one year.
- An individual charged with retail theft in an amount of $300 or more or grand theft in the first degree could be convicted of a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and/or a prison sentence up to five years.
- An individual charged with shoplifting in an amount of $3,000 or more or grand theft in the second degree could be convicted of a felony of the second degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine nor more than $10,000.
- An individual charged with grand theft in the first degree could be convicted of a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or up to 30 years or life in prison.
In addition to the preceding penalties, an individual who has been convicted of a shoplifting offense may be subject to:
- Name recorded in a national database for background checks,
- License suspension for six months to one year for a first offense,
- Permanent revocation for a second offense, and/or
- Restitution paid to any shoplifting victims.
Many counties in Florida offer diversion programs where first time shoplifting offenders are required to attend shoplifting prevent classes, pay courts costs and fees and participate in community service instead of facing a jail sentence.
Roelke Law, P.A. | Jacksonville Retail Theft Attorney
Contact Roelke Law today for a consultation about your alleged shoplifting offense throughout Duval County in Florida. Bill Roelke is an experienced Jacksonville theft lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to the allegations you are facing. Contact Roelke Law at (904) 354-0333 for a consultation about your theft crimes throughout Duval County and the surrounding counties in Florida, including St. Johns County, Nassau County and Clay County.