What to know about theft crimes
Those who are convicted of retail theft in Florida may face a number of penalties such as probation, incarceration, or a fine. Your driving privileges may also be suspended for up to six months for a first offense and up to a year for a second offense. The severity of your sentence will largely depend on the value of the merchandise that you stole.
The elements of shoplifting in Florida
State law defines retail theft as taking away tangible items, money or certain types of documents. You may also be charged with this offense if you remove a shopping cart from the premises of a mall, shopping center or similar location. Removing a price tag or similar items from a product may also constitute retail theft under the law.
Potential consequences if convicted
If convicted of petit theft of goods less than $100, you will spend up to 60 days in jail and pay a fine of up to $500. In the event that stolen goods were worth between $101 and $300, you’ll face a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. Your sentence will increase to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted of felony theft crimes. This means that you were charged with stealing goods worth between $301 and $5,000.
There are many ways in which you may be able to obtain a favorable outcome in a retail theft case. For instance, you may claim that you accidentally walked away with an item that you intended to pay for or put back prior to leaving an establishment. You may also assert that you had permission to take goods prior to paying for them.