Our Bradenton and Sarasota Shoplifting Attorneys Outline What You Need to Know
“Shoplifting” has been defined as “[t]he willful theft of merchandise from a retail establishment without the knowledge or consent of the seller with the intention of converting those goods for one’s personal use and without having paid the purchase price.”
Under Florida law, there is no specific statute regarding shoplifting. However, shoplifting is prosecuted under Section 812.014 of the Florida statutes, which covers “theft, robbery and related crimes.” Most of us consider shoplifting a minor crime, but the loss of inventory from stores due to shoplifting can cost the U.S. retail industry billions each year. Therefore, many states treat this crime very seriously and have enacted strict penalties for those convicted of shoplifting.
If you have been arrested for shoplifting, let a Sarasota or Bradenton shoplifting lawyer at Fowler & Fowler, P.A. help. We have the experience and specific knowledge needed to deal with various types of criminal defense issues alongside theft, including but not limited to DUI, juvenile criminal defense, probation violations, and drug-related offenses.
We Fight Adult and Juvenile Shoplifting Charges
It’s not unusual for juveniles to shoplift, especially during their adolescent years. Commonly, when a juvenile is caught shoplifting smaller items like candy bars or chewing gum, the store will accept a return and an apology. Unfortunately, major department stores that have advanced security systems are not as forgiving these days. That said, in Florida, the theft of $300 or less in goods is a misdemeanor. Theft of $300 or more in goods is a felony no matter the age of the accused.
When a juvenile is accused of shoplifting, the punishments may include restitution, fines, special classes, and community service. However, having a juvenile record may be the most serious consequence. Even if the juvenile does not go to jail, the offense will be on his or her record if found guilty.
Sealing Criminal Records for Juveniles
It is a myth that all juvenile criminal records are sealed. Although private businesses can’t access juvenile records, the military and the government can. If the juvenile is arrested again in the future, the prior juvenile records would be accessible to prosecutors and could lead to the juvenile facing more serious consequences. You should also be aware that the hiring personnel for certain professions, such as teaching, practicing law, and working as a healthcare professional may be able to access the juvenile records as well. A Sarasota shoplifting lawyer can discuss sealing and expungement with you.
If You or Your Child Has Been Arrested, Contact a Sarasota or Bradenton Shoplifting Lawyer For Help
Shoplifting is not thought of as harmless hijinks by kids anymore. Now, they face serious consequences, as do adults. If you or a minor child has been arrested for shoplifting, let a Bradenton or Sarasota shoplifting lawyer defend you and work to minimize your consequences. Contact us for your free consultation.