If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Florida, your integrity and perhaps even your job could be on the line. You may feel panicked, embarrassed, and overwhelmed when you’re stopped by loss prevention officers or questioned by the police.
Out of fear, you may tell them what they want to hear and end up putting yourself in a more compromised position. If you’re arrested or served with a notice to appear in court, immediately reach out to a Miami shoplifting defense lawyer who will defend your rights.
Many offenders actually shoplift without even being consciously aware that they are doing it. You may be trying to keep an eye on your children, field phone calls on your cell, and look for specific products when you pick up a product and place it in your cart. Moments later, without thinking, you might set your purse or coat on top of it.
After you check out, a loss prevention officer accosts you and accuses you of theft, making a scene in front of your children, embarrassing you in front of the store customers (your local peer group), and threatening to call the police – which they often do, regardless of how you act.
This scenario has played out countless times, and whether you meant to shoplift or not is no longer the issue. Once you’ve been arrested or served notice to appear in court, your first priority should be to get an attorney and get your charges safely behind you.
How a Miami Shoplifting Defense Lawyer Can Help
When you’re facing charges for shoplifting in Florida, a defense attorney can minimize the impact of your indiscretion. An attorney will handle your case without judgment and allow you to put the ordeal out of your mind while you move forward with your life.
Being charged with shoplifting in Florida can be a humiliating experience, but it doesn’t have to be one that haunts you for the rest of your personal and professional life. A Miami shoplifting defense lawyer can represent you throughout your case and will work passionately and aggressively to:
- protect your legal rights;
- minimize the extent to which you are affected; and
- determine the optimal resolution for your case.
Many department or outlet stores employ aggressive, even hostile, loss prevention officers who will not listen to your side of the story, no matter how honest your mistake may have been. Once a loss prevention officer has stopped you, it’s likely that the police will be called and that you will be either arrested or served with a notice to appear in court.
Definition of Shoplifting in Florida
Shoplifting is defined under Florida Statute 812.014 of the criminal code, and the severity of the charge is dependent on the retail value of the items you are accused of stealing or attempting to steal.
If the value of the merchandise you were accused of stealing totals less than $100, you will be charged with petty theft in the second degree, a second degree misdemeanor under Florida law. If the value of the merchandise was valued between $100 and $300, the charge will be petty theft in the first degree, which is a first degree misdemeanor.
Finally, if the value was between $300 and $5,000, you will be charged with grand theft in the third degree, a significantly more serious charge. This charge is a third degree felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in a state penitentiary.
If you’ve been arrested for shoplifting in Florida, speak with a Miami shoplifting defense lawyer who has handled cases like yours before and will respect your right to privacy.
Contacting a Miami Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
If you are facing charges for shoplifting in Florida your legal team is your best defense. The defense team you choose to represent you in court, defend your rights, and relentlessly pursue your case could be the difference between jail time and getting on with your life. Contact the Miami defense team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 1-877-663-5110.