Okaloosa County Shoplifting Attorney
One of the most frequent arrests in Okaloosa County is Retail Theft, more commonly referred to as Shoplifting. Although most shoplifting crimes are typically charged as misdemeanors, a conviction can have lifelong consequences. A conviction for shoplifting can affect your opportunities for employment, scholarships, credit and housing, not to mention giving you the reputation of a thief. If you have been charged with a shoplifting offense in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097 to find out how I can help you get your case resolved without a negative impact on your future.
Shoplifting Under Florida Law
Florida Statute 812.015(1)(d) defines retail theft as “the taking possession of, or carrying away of, merchandise, property, money, or negotiable documents; altering or removing a label, universal product code, or price tag; transferring merchandise from one container to another; or removing a shopping cart, with intent to deprive the merchant of possession, use, benefit, or full retail value.”
Depending on the value of the merchandise allegedly stolen, retail theft can be classified as either misdemeanor petit theft or felony grand theft.
In cases involving items that are valued at $100 or less the charge is typically a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine. Merchandise that is worth more than $100 but less than $300 is usually treated as a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1000.00 fine.
Can Shoplifting be charged as a felony in Okaloosa County?
Yes it can. If the property that was alleged to have been stolen was valued at $300.00 or more, you face a charge of Grand Theft, a third degree felony with a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.
Do I Really Need an Attorney for a Shoplifting charge?
Sometimes people will tell me they don’t need an attorney for a shoplifting charge because in their eyes, it is not that serious of a crime. This is not true. You need someone to stand up for you and make sure you’re treated fairly. I have been defending clients charged with Retail Theft in Okaloosa County since 2001. I have had a lot of success helping clients avoid a lifelong conviction for shoplifting.
Defending your Okaloosa County Shoplifting Charge
Whether you were physically arrested and taken to jail or given a Notice to Appear in court, the potential penalties are the same and you need an advocate to ensure that you do not end up with a conviction.
In order to convict you of shoplifting, the state must prove two elements:
- That you knowingly took possession of or carried away merchandise and
- You intended to deprive the merchant of their merchandise.
It is my job to make sure that doesn’t happen. I will explore all options available to you, advise you of your opinions and keep you in the loop during each step of the process.
When we meet to talk about your case, I’ll tell you about an option that could lead to all charges being dismissed.
Call an Okaloosa County Shoplifting Defense Attorney
When your future is at stake, call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097 to schedule your free consultation. I will never judge you. I know everyone makes mistakes, and people deserve a second chance. Call me today to see what I can do for you.