Fighting To Prevent Serious Consequences From Shoplifting Convictions
Many individuals who make the decision to steal merchandise from a store do so out of desperation, on a dare or because they think no one will get hurt by the crime. Unfortunately, individuals who are charged with shoplifting can quickly find themselves facing the very serious consequences resulting from their decisions. In Florida, shoplifting charges are taken very seriously and can result in stiff penalties, including fines, probation and possible jail time.
At the law firm of Michael J. Griffith, P.A., our Milton shoplifting lawyers leverage more than 40 years of experience to offer skilled defense to clients facing shoplifting charges in the Pensacola area. Our knowledge of the laws and of area courts, judges and prosecutors allows us to offer you the advice you need to understand your charges, the penalties you face and the options you have to defend your future from lasting harm.
Is Shoplifting a Felony in Florida?
Shoplifting in Florida can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the stolen goods and the individual's criminal history. The severity of the charge directly correlates with the value of the stolen items:
Misdemeanor Theft: If the value of the stolen goods is less than $750, it is considered petit theft and is classified as a misdemeanor offense.
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor: Theft of goods valued under $100.
- First-Degree Misdemeanor: Theft of goods valued between $100 and $749.
Felony Theft: Theft of items with a value of $750 or more is classified as grand theft, a felony offense. Felony theft is further categorized based on the value of the stolen property:
- Third-Degree Felony: Theft of goods valued between $750 and $19,999.
- Second-Degree Felony: Theft of goods valued between $20,000 and $99,999.
- First-Degree Felony: Theft of goods valued at $100,000 or more.
Shoplifting offenses involving force, assault, violence, or weapons can escalate the charges to more severe felonies.
Penalties for shoplifting convictions in Florida vary based on the classification of the offense. Misdemeanor theft can result in fines, probation, community service, and possible imprisonment. Felony theft convictions lead to more severe consequences, including higher fines and longer prison sentences.
It's important to consult with an experienced Pensacola shoplifting attorney if facing charges in Florida to understand the specific charges and potential consequences based on the circumstances of the case.
Exploring Every Avenue Possible In Your Defense
In many cases, the prosecution will have clear evidence of a shoplifting offense. From video footage of the crime to witness testimony from store security or other shoppers, this evidence can be very difficult to overturn.
On your behalf, our staff will explore every available option to help you protect your future from the harm caused by a conviction. In many cases, especially if this is your first offense or you have no prior criminal record, we may be able to negotiate a plea that helps you avoid a conviction and the penalties stemming from it.
Of course, if a plea or alternative sentencing program is not an option, we will take your case to court to apply pressure on the prosecution to reduce your charges, or to prove your innocence.
If you have been charged with shoplifting, do not wait to contact us; by beginning your defense planning today, you greatly increase your chance of avoiding a conviction. Call (850) 495-7977 or contact us online to discuss your charges and learn how we can be of assistance.
Michael J. Griffith has earned many accomplishment over his career, including being admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, co-authoring a book about motorcycle injury compensation, and being named to the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida. His success in achieving decisive wins for his clients is based on a passion to serve people in need, his strong sense of justice, and his unwavering support for the underdog. While you may feel the criminal or civil court systems care little about you as a person, Attorney Griffith levels the playing field with his extensive experience, skills, and client service.
Nearly 50 Years of Experience
Proven Track Record of Success
Admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court
Passionate About Fighting for Those in Need