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Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer > Orlando Shoplifting Lawyer

Orlando Shoplifting Lawyer

Shoplifting may seem like a minor, even insignificant crime, to you. But to Florida retailers it is quite a serious matter. According to credit card issuer Capital One, stores throughout the United States reported $121.6 billion in “retail theft” just in 2023. This number is projected to climb to $150 billion by 2026.

So while you might not think shoplifting $50 worth of merchandise is worth anyone’s time, the retailer and local law enforcement are likely to see things differently. If you have recently been arrested on theft charges, our Orlando shoplifting lawyer can advise you of your rights and represent you in defending yourself. The Joshi Law Firm, PA, represents clients throughout Orange County and Central Florida facing allegations that could lead to a criminal record or jail time. Our founding attorney is a former Florida prosecutor who understands how the state builds these types of cases–and how they can be challenged in court.

The Penalties for “Retail Theft” in Florida

In basic terms, Florida law defines “theft” to mean knowingly obtaining or using someone else’s property without their consent and with the intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive the rightful owner of that property. Shoplifting is a subset of theft legally classified as “retail theft,” which includes any of the following acts:

  • taking possession of or removing merchandise, property, money, or negotiable documents (such as checks) from a retail store;
  • altering or removing a universal product code or price tag from store merchandise;
  • transferring merchandise from one container to another; or
  • removing a shopping cart with the intent to deprive the store of the full retail value of the merchandise contained inside.

The specific penalties for retail theft depend on the value of the property taken. At the low end, shoplifting less than $100 worth of merchandise is considered petit theft in the second degree, a misdemeanor punishable by no more than 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. If you have at least two prior shoplifting convictions, however, you can be charged instead with a third-degree felony, which can result in up to 5 years in jail.

Shoplifting merchandise worth between $101 and $300 is a first-degree misdemeanor, which means up to 1 year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine if convicted. Beyond $300, shoplifting moves into the realm of an automatic felony charge known as grand theft.

Reach Out to Our Orlando Shoplifting Lawyers Today

For many Florida residents, a shoplifting arrest is their first interaction with the criminal justice system. In many cases the arrest may be based on a misunderstanding or mistake by retail employees who are overzealous when it comes to protecting their employers from possible losses. In any event, you should never hesitate to speak with a skilled Orlando shoplifting lawyer who will act as your advocate when dealing with the police and the courts. Call the Joshi Law Firm, PA, today at 844-GO-JOSHI or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

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