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Katz & Phillips, P.A. provides representation to clients throughout Orlando and surrounding areas who have been accused of shoplifting. Shoplifting charges can affect your future and land you in jail. We’ll work hard to help you try to avoid conviction, a criminal record, and to keep your freedom. Call today to speak with an experienced Orlando shoplifting lawyer to learn about your options for responding to charges. Our attorneys can answer important questions you may have including:

  • What happens if I’m convicted of shoplifting in Orlando?
  • How can I defend myself from Orlando shoplifting charges?
  • How can an Orlando shoplifting defense lawyer help me?

Retail Theft Explained by an Orlando Shoplifting Defense Attorney

In Florida’s criminal code, shoplifting is referred to as “retail theft.” Code Section 812.015 provides details on the crime of shoplifting, which can include:

  • Taking possession of merchandise without paying.
  • Carrying away merchandise with intent to deprive its owner of its value.
  • Changing or removing labels, UPC codes, or price tags on merchandise.
  • Moving merchandise from one container to another.
  • Taking a shopping cart.

A defendant does not have to be successful at stealing items to be charged with shoplifting. Concealing items to carry them away or making an attempt to take items from the store can result in conviction. If convicted, the consequences are going to vary depending upon the dollar value of the goods allegedly taken.

  • If the value of the goods is under $100, the charge is second-degree misdemeanor petty theft. The maximum penalty is 60 days imprisonment and a $500 fine.
  • If the value of goods is between $100 and $300, the charge is a first-degree misdemeanor with a possible year long jail sentence and a fine up to $1,000.

Penalties get progressively worse at the $300 level and the $20,000 level. Once the value of goods stolen is $300 or more, you are charged with grand theft and face felony charges. This could include a lengthy jail sentence and large fines.

How Can I Defend Myself from Orlando Shoplifting Charges?

There are a number of possible defenses you can raise if you are accused of shoplifting in Florida. A criminal defense lawyer in Orlando with experience handling shoplifting cases can help you to decide on the best strategic approach.

You could try to have evidence suppressed by arguing you were searched illegally, or could try to make it impossible for the prosecutor to prove you actually intended to carry out a shoplifting scheme.

It may also be possible to enter into pre-trial diversion programs or to plead not guilty and arrange a deal with the prosecutor where you face reduced charges or lesser penalties. Katz & Phillips, P.A. can represent you in negotiations with a prosecutor or in a court trial.

How Can an Orlando Shoplifting Defense Law Firm Help?

An Orlando shoplifting defense lawyer at Katz & Phillips, P.A. knows the laws related to shoplifting and will work hard to help you respond to charges so you can reduce the chances of conviction or reduce the penalties. Our attorneys have successfully represented many clients throughout the Florida area; however, every case is different and you need an advocate to assist in developing the right strategies for your particular situation. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how our legal team can work for you.