Flaherty Defense Firm, Fort Walton Beach Criminal Lawyer
Offices in Fort Walton Beach, Destin, and Crestview
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Destin Shoplifting Attorney

People shoplift or steal for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes, it is out of necessity or desperation. Sometimes, it is done on a whim, or for the “thrill” they think it will provide. Well, there is nothing thrilling or exciting about being arrested and considered a thief. If you have been charged with shoplifting in Destin, I would be glad to meet with you to discuss your options.

If you are convicted of shoplifting, that conviction will stay on your record forever. The record cannot be sealed or expunged. In other words, you will have to explain this on every job application you ever fill out.

Fortunately, being arrested does not automatically mean you will be convicted. That’s where I come in. Flaherty Defense Firm has a proven track record of success in getting shoplifting and retail theft cases in Destin dismissed. I have been defending locals, tourists, and military members accused of shoplifting since 2001. Call me today at (850) 243-6097.

What if I was visiting Destin from out of town and got arrested for shoplifting?

I can help you. If you hire me before your court date, you will not have to appear in person. I will attend all pretrial court dates on your behalf and communicate with you about the status. Click here. You will not be left out of the loop just because you aren’t physically here.

Will the store handle this matter or will the police get involved?

In the past, retail merchants would handle minor shoplifting incidents internally as long as they got their merchandise back. A civil penalty would be collected, and that would have been the end of it.

That is not how shoplifting is dealt with by our Destin businesses anymore. If they suspect someone is stealing, or has stolen something from their store, they will call the police. They will press charges and insist that the person be arrested. The first thing that the officer will do is try to get the person to admit that they were stealing. Sometimes, they will even promise that things will “go better if they cooperate.” They are lying. Either way, the person gets arrested and prosecuted.

Is shoplifting in Destin a misdemeanor?

Usually, yes. The penalty for shoplifting depends on your prior criminal history and the monetary value of the property that was taken. Most shoplifting cases are charged as a misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum penalty of 60 days to 12 months in jail.

If you have a prior charge of shoplifting or theft, a second offense requires mandatory adjudication if convicted which means it cannot be sealed or expunged.

When is shoplifting charged as a felony?

There are two ways a shoplifting charge can be enhanced to a felony:

  • If the property that was stolen was valued at $300.00 or more, the charge will be felony Grand Theft with a possible prison sentence of 5 years and a $5000.00 fine.
  • If the suspect has two prior shoplifting or theft charges on their record, a third offense is a felony with a potential 5 year prison sentence and mandatory conviction that cannot be expunged or sealed.

How can you keep this shoplifting charge off my record?

Hopefully, if you are reading this, you have decided that you need an attorney to help you. You’ve decided that simply walking into court and taking the State’s offer (which will likely mean a conviction) is not a good option.

As your criminal defense lawyer, it is my job to position your case for the best possible outcome. To do that, I need to gather as much mitigating evidence about you as possible. I need to carefully review the evidence against you and raise doubt about whether the State can prove their case. At the same time, I need to negotiate with the prosecutor to try and resolve your case without a conviction.

One way to do this is to refer your case to a pretrial diversion program that will guarantee a full dismissal of all charges if the diversion agreement is completed. I know what arguments and strategies work in convincing the prosecutor to offer this option to my clients. I have gained that knowledge and experience from defending hundreds of clients accused of shoplifting and theft in Destin.

If you are worried about the effect this shoplifting charge in Destin will have on your future, call me 24/7 at (850) 243-6097.

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc.
NORML
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
9.8Tim Michael Flaherty
The National Trial Lawyers