317 NE 1st St
Gainesville, FL  32601
fax: (352) 375-0813

call us today

(352) 375-0812

¡Hablamos Español!

Free consultation

Resisting Recovery of Stolen Property

You may have heard of grab and run tactics? Did you know, however, that resisting the reasonable efforts to recover stolen property is a crime that is completely separate from the theft itself?

Under Florida law, a merchant, employee, or a law enforcement officer may make a reasonable effort to recover stolen property. Most often, violations for resisting recovery of stolen property happen in shoplifting situations. There is a process for a merchant attempting to recovery property that he or she accuses an offender of taking. An alleged offender who resists such efforts may be found guilty of resisting recovery of stolen property.

Lawyer for Resisting Recovery of Stolen Property in Gainesville, FL

If you or someone you know has been arrested in the Gainesville area for an alleged theft offense in addition to resisting the recovery of stolen property under Florida law, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Galigani Law Firm represents clients charged with grand theft, petit theft, shoplifting, or any other theft crime in Starke, Lake Butler, Palatka, Oscala, Bronson, Trenton, or Lake City, FL. Our attorneys have experience counseling clients on the process of being charged with theft in Florida and we work hard to get the best possible result.

With offices located on 317 NE 1st St, just minutes from the University of Florida campus, we represent clients throughout the Gainesville Metropolitan Area including the surrounding counties like Bradford County, Union County, Putnam County, Gilchrist County, Levy County, Columbia County, and Marion County, Florida.

Submit a free evaluation form or call (352) 375-0812 to speak one-on-one with an experienced criminal defense attorney.


Elements of Resisting Recovery of Stolen Property under Fla. Stat. § 812.015(6)

Resisting the attempted recovery of stolen property and actually stealing property are two separate crimes. Resisting recovery of stolen property is codified in Florida Statute § 812.015(6). The State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

  1. that the defendant was committing or had committed a theft of property from a merchant, owner, or custodian of property;
  2. that during or after that theft, the victim made a reasonable effort to recovery that property;
  3. that the defendant resisted the victim's efforts to recover the property;
  4. that when the defendant resisted, the victim had probable cause to believe that the defendant had concealed or removed the property from its place or where the property had been kept; and
  5. that at the time of the defendant's resistance, the victim was a merchant, a merchant's employee, or a law enforcement officer.

Useful Definitions under Florida §812.015(6)

The Florida Statute § 812.015 has multiple terms of art that may have a different meaning under the Statute than they ordinarily would in everyday use. The following terms have been defined by the Statute for clarity.

  • Merchant – is defined as an owner or operator, agent, cosignee, lessee, employee, or officer of an owner or operator, of any premises or apparatus used for retailing purchasing or sale of merchandise.
  • Property – is defined as anything of value and includes tangible personal property.
  • Theft – under Florida law occurs when "someone knowingly and unlawfully obtains or uses or endeavors to obtain or to use the property of another and does so with intent to, either temporarily or permanently, deprive the person of his or her right to the property or any benefit from it or to appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it.

Potential Defenses to Resisting Recovery of Stolen Property

The law in Gainesville, Florida considers the lack of knowledge to be an affirmative defense to the charge of resisting recovery of stolen property. Specifically, if at the time of the resistance, the defendant did not know, or did not have reason to know that the victim was a merchant, the merchant's employee, or a law enforcement officer, then he or she cannot be said to have "resisted" in a manner consistent with the Statute.

The burden is on the defendant or his or her attorney to prove that he or she did not know or have reason to know that the victim was a merchant, a merchant's employee, or a law enforcement officer.

Resisting Recovery of Stolen Property Penalties in Gainesville

Under Florida law, being convicted of resisting recovery of stolen property is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $1,000.

The penalty for resisting recovery of stolen property is separate from the theft charge and may be charged concurrently with the theft. The level of the theft offense charged is based on the value of the property stolen or the type of property that was stolen. Theft offenses are classified in the following manner:

  • Less than $100 – second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to sixty (60) days in jail and up to $500 fines;
  • More than $100, but Less than $300 –third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 fines;
  • More than $300, but Less than $20,000 – third-degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and up to $5,000 fines;
  • More than $20,000, but Less than $100,000 – second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines;
  • $100,000 or More – first-degree felony, punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.

Additional Resources

Florida Shoplifting Laws -- Visit the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) for more information on the Florida Shoplifting Statute. NASP is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise public awareness on the harmful effects of shoplifting on youth. Florida Statute § 812.015(6) is most commonly associated with shoplifting.

Juvenile Justice Resource Guide – Visit the Office of the State Attorney Eight Judicial Circuit for a resource guide created by the Gainesville State Attorney's Office and Project Payback entitled the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide from Alachua County. The Resource guide lists the County's Prevention Programs, the Intervention Programs, the Diversion Programs and the Commitment Programs throughout Alachua County. The Resource Guide is a tool to educate you citizens on the effects of crimes like shoplifting and resisting recovery of stolen property in Florida.

Florida Statute § 812.015(6) – visit Online Sunshine the Florida Legislature's official website for more information on the resisting recovery of stolen property statute, including the useful definitions for understanding the statute and the requirements for presenting knowledge as an affirmative defense.

Find an Attorney for Resisting Recovery of Stolen Property in Alachua County, FL

In many snatch and grab theft scenarios, most people do not realize that an individual can be charged with two crimes that will run concurrently. An alleged defendant can be charged with theft and resisting recovery of stolen property. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney to explain these charges and fight them will be invaluable if you or someone you know has found themselves being accused of theft.

The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm have handled multiple kinds of theft charges, including those charged as misdemeanor or felonies under Florida law. We represent clients in the Gainesville Metropolitan area in surrounding areas like Starke, Lake City, Oscala, Trenton, Palatka, Bronson, or Lake Butler, FL.

With offices located on 317 NE 1st St, just minutes from the University of Florida campus, we represent clients throughout the Gainesville Metropolitan Area including the surrounding counties like Levy County, Bradford County, Union County, Columbia County, Putnam County, Gilchrist County, and Marion County, Florida.

This Article Was Last Updated Friday, May 26, 2017.