Winter Park Shoplifting Lawyer

Shoplifting, or retail theft, is a serious offense that may be categorized as grand theft or petit theft depending on the value of the merchandise. This type of crime can encompass multiple acts. Although this is a common offense in Florida, you can face serious penalties if you are convicted.

A Winter Park shoplifting lawyer understands how much is on the line, and could immediately get to work crafting a defense strategy for your case. A theft attorney could assess all options to minimize the consequences of this charge. It is not uncommon for someone to be charged without having been stopped or arrested during the alleged incident, so you must secure legal help the moment you suspect you are in trouble.

Elements of a Shoplifting Charge

In addition to theft of actual merchandise, actions such as altering price tags or removing a shopping cart from the store’s premises are illegal and can subject someone to shoplifting charges. Actions such as transferring merchandise from one container to another, or purposely misusing the scanner to alter the final price of an item, are also forms of retail theft.

One of the key elements the prosecution must prove to make this charge stick is to show the accused intended to deprive the merchant of the possession, value, or use of the goods in question. Accordingly, lack of intent can be a defense to a shoplifting charge.

Fighting Back Against Retail Theft Charges

An attorney could identify and help protect against any illegal actions by law enforcement, such as Miranda rights violations, unlawful searches and seizures, or questionable search warrants. Any such instances could be viable defenses.

If you were wrongfully charged with shoplifting instead of the actual perpetrator, mistaken identity could be a plausible defense, as could situations where you were coerced into committing the crime. A Winter Park attorney could craft a defense for a unique shoplifting charge that aims to get the charge reduced or dismissed.

Legal Consequences for Shoplifting

Shoplifting can be a misdemeanor or a felony in Winter Park, depending on the value of the property involved. Both categories of crimes can carry heavy fines and jail time, and also would leave you with a permanent criminal record.

For example, if the property in question is valued between $100 and $300, that is a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction could see you face up to 12 months in prison, plus a financial penalty of up to $1,000.

It is a felony when the value of the goods in a shoplifting case is at or above $300. Retail theft of goods between $300 and $20,000 is a third-degree felony, between $20,000 and $100,000 is a second-degree felony, and over $100,000 is a first-degree felony.

A third-degree felony can be punished by up to five years in jail. Meanwhile, a second-degree felony can carry a prison term of up to 15 years. A first-degree felony can carry a prison term ranging as high as 30 years. Each of these degrees of felonies carry possible financial penalties, which can range from $5,000 up to $10,000.

Other Factors Involved in Sentencing

In addition to the value of goods involved in the alleged retail theft, your prior criminal history (if any), the evidence available, and the facts of the case can worsen the potential penalties. A Winter Park attorney could work to get your shoplifting charge dropped or reduced. We can also seek rehabilitative programs and any alternative sentencing options that could help you avoid jail time. It is important to evaluate all possible ways to achieve a lighter sentence or eliminate the charges completely.

Do not wait to speak with an attorney, as time is imperative when it comes to fighting a shoplifting charge. The prosecution will be busy constructing their case, but we can step in even before official charges are filed to secure your rights.

Talk With a Winter Park Shoplifting Attorney About Your Legal Options

At The Umansky Law Firm, our Winter Park shoplifting lawyer will leave no stone unturned to pursue the most favorable resolution to your charge. In some cases, this could involve pursuing alternative sentencing options.

We can also evaluate potential defenses that could get your charge reduced to a lesser offense, or even dropped, depending on the situation. A seasoned criminal defense attorney may provide more information about what you can expect. Contact our office today to receive your confidential case consultation.

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    Winter Park Shoplifting Lawyer