In Florida, if a law enforcement officer, merchant, or store employee legitimately believes that someone has stolen property, they have the right to make a reasonable effort to reclaim what was stolen. This law is most often used in shoplifting cases. For example, thieves sometimes employ grab-and-run tactics when they’re shoplifting. If a jeweler or other store owner catches that thief in the act or on camera, they have the right to try and recover the goods that were taken.
If the accused offender resists giving up that stolen property, they can be charged with the crime of Resisting Recovery of Stolen Property in Orlando. An excellent point to remember is that resisting recovery of stolen property is not the same thing as theft. The two crimes have different definitions and penalties. If you’re facing a charge for either one, you may work with a competent theft attorney to protect your rights.
Resisting recovery of stolen property as defined under Florida law requires evidence to prove the crime occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. To do so, the prosecutor must show:
In contrast, theft is defined by Florida law as a crime that transpires when someone does any of the following:
In short, theft is the criminal act of stealing. Resisting recovery of stolen property is a crime that could follow theft. The charge for resisting recovery of stolen property in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor that’s punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. The charge is separate from that of theft, but an offender can be charged with both acts.
The charge for theft depends on the value or type of property that was stolen. Theft charges range from second-degree misdemeanors punishable by up to $500 in fines and 60 days in jail to first-degree felonies punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and 30 years in prison.
Individuals charged with resisting recovery of stolen property can use their lack of knowledge about the charge as a defense. For example, let’s say the suspect is being confronted by the victim, who demands that the stolen property be released. If the suspect had reason to believe the victim wasn’t who they claimed to be (i.e., a law enforcement officer, the merchant, or the merchant’s employee), then the suspect couldn’t have “resisted” in the same manner defined by law. When using this defense, it’s up the suspect or their lawyer to legitimately prove this lack of knowledge.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Central Florida for an alleged theft crime, along with resisting the recovery of stolen property, contact an expert criminal defense attorney right away to plead your case for innocence.
Attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm are experts on counseling and defending clients in Florida against charges of theft and resisting recovery of stolen property. Our aggressive criminal lawyers have represented clients facing charges of grand theft, shoplifting, and many other theft violations throughout Orlando, including resisting recovery of stolen property. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, we work diligently to defend and get you the most favorable result possible.
If you’re facing criminal charges, don’t delay in reaching out to our team. You can reach our criminal attorneys anytime by filling out our online form with the details of your charge, and we’ll reach out to begin your free case evaluation.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys