According to Shoplifting Lawyers, this theft commonly refers to a theft of goods from a retail store or a place for trade and commerce. Shoplifting is a form of larceny that basically involves taking possession of someone else’s property without their permission, and with an intention to deprive the original owner of the property permanently
William Moore is a veteran Criminal Defense Lawyer with over 150 criminal jury trials under his belt. Remember, if you are looking for competent representation, always consider an attorney’s past history and experience before deciding. Theft crime convictions can be devastating on the accused and his or her family. Petty Theft Attorney Moore is an aggressive and experienced litigator with a strong local reputation. If you are searching for a criminal lawyer in the Broward area, chances are that you have already been told about the theft attorneys at William Moore Criminal Defense.
William Moore Criminal Defense represents clients charged with Petit Theft in Broward County and Broward County.
Elements of Shoplifting Charge
Laws relating to shoplifting vary from one state to another, but essentially the offense must include two key elements. These include willful concealment or possession of goods on sale, and the intention to deprive the owner of the goods of their possession, without paying for the goods. This effectively implies that under most state laws a simple concealment of the store’s merchandise outside or inside the store premises may constitute a shoplifting offense. It is not necessary to actually attempt to leave the store with stolen merchandise. The concealment of goods may be considered as the proof of intent to deprive the owner of the goods according to Jim Weick, Criminal Attorney Broward County.
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Shoplifting laws not only make it illegal to hide the merchandise with an aim to avoid paying for it, but also make it illegal to take any action that attempts to avoid making a full payment for store merchandise. Therefore, actions such as switching of price tags with an aim to pay lesser than the actual purchase price, manipulating the goods or their packaging, or placing the goods in a way that is meant to avoid making full payment for all the goods may also constitute a shoplifting offense.
According to prosecutors shoplifting is a theft crime in Florida resulting in staggering financial loss to business owners. According to National Retail Security Survey, shoplifting costs the U.S. retail industry nearly $35 billion annually. According to prosecutors it is an act, which involves deliberately and wrongfully acquiring the goods or merchandise belonging to others without being granted their permission. In most of the cases, the merchandise is taken from the retail store without paying for it or without an intention to pay for it. Under Florida criminal statutes, the crime of shoplifting comes under the category of theft. The charges of shoplifting can depend on the kinds of goods in question, according to the Broward shoplifting lawyers at William Moore Criminal Defense. In many cases, persons are accused by overzealous owners who have suffered a decline of financial gain in an otherwise declining economy.
Can You Avoid Shoplifting Penalties?
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The penalties for the crime of shoplifting depend on the value of merchandise stolen from a retail store or a building where the business is being operated. When the value of the goods taken is less than $100 then the theft comes under “petit theft” and is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. This kind of crime can lead up to $500 and/or a jail term. The charges of first-degree misdemeanor apply when the person has stolen items worth $100 or more but less than $300. Shoplifting is considered a petit theft and carries with it up to 1 year in jail and fines reaching $1,000.
A suspect can be charged with “grand theft” if the person has been accused of stealing goods worth more than a value of $300. For merchandise ranging from $300 to $20,000, the person may be charged with a third- degree felony. This is punishable by maximum 5 year detention period according to shop lifting lawyers in Fort Lauderdale. There are other grand thefts at major level, which can lead up to 30 year prison time but such thefts are rare and for obvious reasons not necessarily applicable to shoplifting.
As with most other types of larceny and theft, the severity of charges for a shoplifting offense is directly related to the value of the merchandise involved. If the act involves shoplifting of dangerous products such as explosive devices or firearms, more severe charges may be made in most states. A wide range of charges is allowed in most states, and the prosecution may decide which charges to make in a particular case. Charges may range from misdemeanor to felony in varying degrees according to the Broward Shoplifting Lawyers of William Moore Criminal Defense.
The prosecution may decide which charges to pursue on the basis of various factors such as the previous criminal history of the accused, and theft convictions in particular. Under some state laws, previous convictions for theft may automatically lead to more severe charges. Infractions may typically attract only a fine, while a misdemeanor charge could result in prison time below one year, or probation and a fine. A felony charge may result in a longer prison term, probation, and a substantial fine.
For more information, contact the Broward Criminal Defense Attorney of William Moore Criminal Defense.