Theft and SHOPLIFTING Attorney in Miami
AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE AGAINST FLORIDA THEFT CRIME CHARGES
A wide range of crimes fall under the category of theft in the State of Florida. Some types of theft crimes include:
- Car jacking
- Grand theft auto
- Identity theft
Depending on the severity of the particular accusations against you, the consequences you face could include:
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- A criminal record
- Jail time
- Prison time
- Heavy fines
In addition, your life as a whole could be seriously impacted by a criminal record, which could prevent you from taking advantage of certain educational or occupational opportunities. At the same time, in my experience as a Miami criminal defense lawyer, these types of accusations are often the result of misleading circumstances.
Shoplifting isn’t just a teenager prank any longer. Adults are arrested for this offense more frequently, particularly with economic stresses resulting from job losses and family problems. Walmart, Target, and Publix are replacing department stores such as Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Marshall’s as hot spots for shoplifting arrests in Miami. While stores have increased their surveillance and monitoring in the aisles, the largest source of recent shoplifting arrests is the self check-out area. Recent changes to Florida’s theft statute established a higher threshold for petty theft charges at $750.00.
Self check-out can be a confusing process, even for the most tech-savvy person. It’s not uncommon for an item or two to slip through, without being scanned, and into a bag, with no intent to steal. Items are often inadvertently left on the bottom of shopping carts when the shopper moves past the self check-out area, having properly paid for hundreds of dollars of products. Security agents often detain shoppers before they leave the store and give them no opportunity to explain the mix-up or pay for the un-scanned merchandise. Attempted theft is considered a completed theft in Florida. It doesn’t matter if you had a change of
heart and gave back the goods. You’re still in for the same charges as if you had actually stolen them.
Police are called to the store and either arrest the shopper or issue a promise to appear in court and release them. Arrests for petit theft in Miami affect students, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, and grandparents with alarming frequency.
PENALTIES FOR SHOPLIFTING (PETIT THEFT)
First-degree Petit Theft (stolen property value between $100 and $749)
Up to one year in jail
Up to a $1,000 fine
Second degree Petit Theft (stolen property value less than $100)
Up to 60 days in jail
Up to a $500 fine
two or more times of any theft commits a felony of the third degree, punishable
as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Paying a Civil Penalty for Theft Does Not Prevent Criminal Charges
There are collateral consequences for a shoplifting arrest in Miami. If you are arrested for theft at a retail store, you may get a letter from an attorney demanding payment of $200.00 to avoid them filing a civil lawsuit for theft. Paying the penalty doe not mean you won’t be charged with a crime. Letters demanding money are derived from the civil theft statute:
Retail stores lose a lot of money yearly from theft, money paid to hire loss prevention officers and install costly surveillance systems, etc., and thus stores seek to recoup these losses through these letters (known as civil demand letters). There are defenses to these “demands” and they require consultation with an experienced Miami Theft Crimes Attorney.
A Petit Theft Conviction Will Result in Loss of Your Driving Privileges
A misdemeanor theft conviction will result in a 6 months suspension. A second conviction is for 1 year. For those under the age of 18, the court can revoke, suspend, or withhold driving privileges in lieu of other punishments. A driver’s license suspension only applies to misdemeanor theft convictions, which includes petit theft. If you receive a withhold of adjudication, you are not convicted and your driver’s license will not be suspended. The court can order you be given a business purpose only driver’s license if you are otherwise qualified to have one.
MORE THAN 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN CRIMINAL LAW
You need strong defense in order to stave off the severe consequences of conviction. With more than 30 years of experience on both sides of the courtroom, I understand what you are facing and I know how to defend you effectively and efficiently. I spent years as a prosecuting attorney for the State of Florida. Now, I bring that insider’s perspective to my private practice. With an AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® and a 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo – in addition to numerous client testimonials and a long history of successful case results – I am convinced that I have what it takes to defend your reputation and
freedom against the theft crime charges filed against you.
HOW TO AVOID JAIL FOR PETTY THEFT
CALL FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION IN MIAMI!
When you call my friendly support staff, they can help you begin the process of scheduling a free case evaluation for you with me at my Miami office. At this meeting, you and I can assess your circumstances and the strengths and weaknesses of your case in order to begin drafting a strategy of defense. Call Jonathan Blecher, P.A. today for the strong advocacy you require.