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Shoplifting Crimes in Florida


Many people have engaged in some form of theft. Probably the most common form of theft is shoplifting. Shoplifting is also known as retail theft.

People shoplift for various reasons. Many are poor and cannot afford to buy necessities, so they steal them. Some do it as a dare or to see if they can get away with it.

If a person gets caught shoplifting, they may not fight back because shoplifting is such a “minor” crime. Shoplifting isn’t as serious as murder or any other violent crime, but the state of Florida definitely takes it seriously. So make sure you contact a lawyer and get a solid defense to battle your charges.

What is Shoplifting?

Under Florida Statutes Chapter 812, a person commits theft if they knowingly obtain the property of another with intent to deprive the owner of that temporarily, whether it be temporarily or permanently. Shoplifting is a type of theft. It refers to the theft of goods from a retail establishment during business hours. It may include the following actions: 

  • Removing or altering price tags
  • Changing an item’s container from one to another
  • Taking possession of a merchant’s property without paying
  • Concealing a store item on one’s person
  • Placing items in pockets
  • Removing a shopping cart

 Shoplifting is often a misdemeanor, but it can be a felony depending on the value of the stolen merchandise. Penalties are based on the following:

  • Total value less than $100: This is the least serious crime. It is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by fines up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
  • Total value between $100 and $300: This is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. A person can face fines of up to $1,000 as well as one year in jail.
  • Total value between $300 and $20,000: This is a third-degree felony with a person facing fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison
  • Total value between $20,000 and $100,000: This is charged as a second-degree felony punishable by fines up to $10,000 as well as up to 15 years in prison
  • Total value greater than $100,000: This is a first-degree felony, the most serious charge. The penalties include fines up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison.

In Florida, both civil and criminal penalties may apply if a person is convicted of retail theft. Civil penalties may be filed by the merchant and may involve restitution for three times the damages, plus court costs and attorney fees. So there’s a lot at stake if you decide to steal something from a store.

 Contact Us Today

Shoplifting crimes are often seen as minor crimes, but this is not always the case. It depends on the value of the stolen goods.

The Florida court system takes shoplifting seriously. Make sure you get a solid defense from the team at Linkhorst Law Firm, P.A. Discuss your legal options with us. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at 561-626-8880 or fill out the online form.



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