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In today’s unstable economy many have been forced to stretch their resources to make ends meet. Many individuals have trouble keeping food on the table or paying their bills. In certain circumstances, desperate times have called for desperate measures. In desperate situations, individuals sometimes act completely out of their normal character and do things such as shoplift.

Though the end might justify the means, shoplifting is a serious crime which can lead to stiff penalties such as jail time and/or fines. College students may face additional consequences and have to undergo a student disciplinary hearing. This is separate from the criminal trial and may lead to severe sanctions from the college on the student's academic future.

Gainesville Shoplifting Defense Lawyer

To potentially avoid the most serious penalties and fines associated with a shoplifting offense, contact the Galigani Law Firm. Criminal defense attorney Dean Galigani will be dedicated to helping you fight the serious charge of shoplifting against you. Contact the Galigani Law Firm about the shoplifting allegation against you in Florida including Lake City and Ocala for a free consultation today at (352) 375-0812.

Definition of Shoplifting in Florida

Under Fla. Stat. § 812.015, shoplifting is considered a theft crime and it is also called retail theft. A person can commit retail theft if they:

  • Take possession or carry away merchandise, property, money or negotiable documents,
  • Alter or remove labeling, product code or price tag,
  • Transfer merchandise from one container to another and/or
  • Remove a shopping cart.

According to Florida law merchandise can mean any personal property capable of being delivered, held, displayed or offered for retail sale.

Definition of Theft in Florida

According to Fla. Stat. § 812.014, a person commits theft if they knowingly take or attempt to take the property of another person with the intent to keep it from them, use the property for their own use or to give the property to another individual for their use.

Probable Cause for a Shoplifting Arrest under Florida Law

Many times an individual does not have to be caught in the act of shoplifting to be arrested. If a store employee or law enforcement officer has probable cause or reasonable suspicion that an individual has committed a shoplifting offense, they can be detained and questioned. Additionally, the activation of any anti-shoplifting device when an individual is exiting the store can be considered probable cause.

Penalties of Shoplifting in Florida

The penalties for shoplifting will vary depending on the value of the property that was taken. An individual can be charged with petit theft or grand theft. Value of the property means the sale price at the time the item or items were taken.

Petit theft occurs when the value of the property is more than $100 but less than $300. An individual can be charged with petit theft of the first degree and can be convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.

A second or subsequent conviction of petit theft is also punishable by a misdemeanor of the first degree. Alternatively, the individual could receive probation for the shoplifting offense.

A grand theft offense occurs when the stolen property is:

  • Valued at $300 or more, but less than $5,000,
  • Valued at $5,000 or more, but less than $10,000, and
  • Valued at $10,000 or more, but less than $20,000.

A conviction for grand theft is punishable by a felony of the third degree which can lead to a sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000, consistent with Fla. Stat. §§ 775.082 and 775.083.

Theft vs. Robbery in Florida

Robbery is usually an offense that involves violence or the threat of violence of another individual during the commission of the crime. The violence or threat of violence is what can make robbery a more serious offense.

Theft usually does not involve violence against another individual and the value of the property taken can weigh heavily on the penalties given to the alleged offender.

Galigani Law Firm | Florida Shoplifting Defense Attorney

Contact the Galigani Law Firm to discuss the circumstances regarding your alleged shoplifting offense. Criminal defense lawyer Dean Galigani will be adamant about defending you against a shoplifting charge in Florida and throughout Alachua County, Marion County, Gilchrist County and Baker County. Contact the Galigani Law Firm for a free consultation today at (352) 375-0812 or send an online message.

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