Retail Theft / Shoplifting

The state of Florida considers shoplifting to be retail theft. The criminal act involves taking property, merchandise or money from a retail store with the intention of permanently depriving the rightful owner of that property.

Retail theft is considered a crime of dishonesty and a conviction can be used against you when applying for jobs, during a background check, or if you ever testify in a court of law.

Attorney for Retail Theft/ Shoplifting in Treasure Coast, FL

Retail theft/shoplifting is a crime that is taken seriously in Florida. You will need the guidance of a proven retail theft attorney to fight the accusations against you. Meltzer & Bell is experienced with retail theft/shoplifting and will fight to protect your rights.

Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 291-2534 to schedule and free case consultation or submit your information in the online contact form. We represent clients in counties across the Treasure Coast including Martin and Saint Lucie.


Overview of Retail Theft/ Shoplifting in Treasure Coast, FL


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Florida Retail Theft/ Shoplifting Laws

Shoplifting and retail theft are synonymous with one another. The crime is defined as taking of property with the intent to deprive the merchant of possessions, use benefit or full retail value. All of this can be committed in a variety of ways that include:

  • Taking possessions or carrying away merchandise, property, money or negotiable documents
  • Altering or removing labels, product codes or price tags
  • Transferring merchandise from one container to another
  • Removing a shopping cart

If a merchant has probable cause to believe that someone has been shoplifting, they can reasonably detain that person for a reasonable amount of time so they can retrieve the merchandise or wait for law enforcement.

Florida law prohibits the use of antishoplifting or inventory control device countermeasure. If you are caught using such a device, the charges will be more severe. An antishoplifting device countermeasure is considered any mechanism or device that was designed, manufactured or modified to defeat any device that detects shoplifting.


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Possible Penalties for Retail Theft/ Shoplifting

Penalties for shoplifting in Florida are broken into two categories: petit theft and grand theft. Petit theft includes stolen merchandise under $300 while grand theft includes stolen goods valued at more than $300.

The extent of the criminal penalties depends on certain factors in your case. Some of these factors include the value of the goods stolen, prior convictions, property damage and if an antishoplifting or inventory device countermeasure was used.

The penalties for retail theft/ shoplifting in Florida are as follows:

    • Second-Degree Petit Theft: If the stolen property has a combined value that is less than $100, the defendant may be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines.
    • FirstDegree Petit Theft: If the shoplifted goods have a combined value that is more than $100 but less than $300, the defendant could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor that entails up to 12 months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
    • Third-Degree Grand Theft: If the stolen property with a combined value of more than $300 but less than $20,000, or the item taken is a firearm, stop sign or similar property, or the defendant was in possession of an antishoplifting or inventory control device countermeasure, they could be charged with a third-degree felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
    • Second-Degree Grand Theft: If the shoplifted goods have a combined value of more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, the defendant could be charged with a second-degree felony that entails up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
    • First-Degree Grand Theft: If the stolen property is more than $100,000 or if more than $1,000 worth of damage was caused to real property, then the defendant could be charged with a first-degree felony that entails up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

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Additional Resources for Retail Theft/ Shoplifting in Treasure Coast, FL

Retail Theft | Florida Statutes 812.015 – Follow this link to familiarize yourself with the retail theft laws in Florida. The statute defines what retail theft is and penalties for the crime. The law can be read on Online Sunshine, the official website for the Florida Legislature.

National Association for Shoplifting Prevention– NASP is an organization working to address shoplifting prevention and the effects it has on minors, families and communities. The organization offers rehabilitation and educational programs for adults who have pending retail theft cases.


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Lawyer for Retail Theft/ Shoplifting in Treasure Coast, FL

If you are being investigated for retail theft in the Treasure Coast area, you should seek legal representation from Meltzer & Bell as soon a possible. Our attorneys have proven experience with shoplifting cases, and they will fight to defend to accusations against you.

We represent clients in counties across the Treasure Coast that includes Martin and Saint Lucie County. Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 291-2534 to schedule a free case consultation or submit your information in the online form.


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