Martin County Theft Attorney
Being arrested for shoplifting is a serious situation to find yourself in. Although shoplifting is typically a lesser theft crime charged as a misdemeanor, there are cases where shoplifting may be charged as a felony and a defendant may be at risk of facing imprisonment in state prison. The severity of a shoplifting-related charge will vary depending on the value of property involved as well as the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any.
An important preventative measure to take in the face of an investigation or formal charges for shoplifting is to consult with a Stuart criminal defense lawyer. You have the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel; you were most likely read these rights if you were arrested. Taking full advantage of these rights may actually mean the difference between a positive and negative case outcome.
About Shoplifting Charges in Florida
Shoplifting is a theft-related offense that involves taking property or merchandise from a retail establishment. This offense is often called retail theft and may be charged as petty theft or grand theft under Florida law. Depending on the value of property, a defendant may face the following penalties for a shoplifting conviction:
- Shoplifting property valued at less than $100 – up to 60 days in county jail
- Shoplifting property valued at more than $100 but less than $300 – up to 364 days in county jail
- Shoplifting property valued at more than $300 but less than $5,000 – up to 5 years in state prison
In addition to imprisonment, the accused may face fines or restitution to the victim. A criminal record may also impact one’s reputation, career and future opportunities in terms of housing and finances.