Stealing a pack of batteries from CVS or pocketing a pack of gum from the local Walmart may not seem like a huge travesty, but such criminal acts across America collectively cost retailers upwards of $32 billion dollars in 2014. One may think retail theft only affects the offender, however, this conduct adds to the store’s security expenses, costs consumers more for their goods, and it overburdens the police and local judicial systems. For this reason, retailers willingly invest in deterrents such sensors, high-tech security cameras, and offer employees training to help identify customer theft and theft among other employees. Retailers also hire loss prevention agents whose sole responsibility is to catch people committing theft. In some cases, the loss prevention agent or team may apprehend an individual suspected of theft. Generally, the loss prevention agent will question the person suspected of theft and attempt to recover the stolen property. From there, the agent may contact the police and have the individual arrested. Shortly after the arrest, the company may present a request for repayment for the stolen merchandise. Many people will pay the requested amount because they believe payment will resolve all aspects of the theft case. However, a letter showing payment does not resolve the criminal case? A letter showing payment only pays the restitution to the store for the items that were stolen. The criminal charge will remain until your attorney resolves it with the State Attorney’s office. An individual facing retail theft charges needs an experienced theft criminal defense attorney to help them with their legal matter. If you have been charged with retail theft, petit theft, shoplifting, or any property offense in Brooksville, Masaryktown, Ridge Manor, Spring Hill, Weeki Wachee or any city in Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, and Pasco County, Florida, you need an experienced theft criminal defense attorney to assist you with your legal matter. Contact the Law Office of Ashley Aulls at (352) 593-4115 to schedule a confidential consultation.
What is Retail Theft Hernando County, Florida?
Theft is the act of knowingly obtaining, using, or attempting to obtain or use the property of another with the intent of depriving that person of the property or contributing the use of the property to someone else not entitled to use the property. Fla. Stat. § 812.014 Pursuant to Florida Statute 812.015(d), “retail theft” is
- Taking possession of or carrying away merchandise, property, money, or negotiable documents;
- Altering or removing a label, universal product code, or price tag;
- Transferring merchandise from one container to another; or
- Removing a shopping cart,
- With intent to deprive the merchant of possession, use, benefit, or full retail value.
Petit Theft in Florida and Its Penalties
As defined by Florida Statute 812.014, theft of property valued more than $300 are charged as a Grand Theft offense. On the other hand, Petit Theft is when the item or items involved are of lesser financial value, and when certain aggravating circumstances are not present. In the State of Florida, theft of property valued less than $300 will generally be charged as a misdemeanor offense known as Petit Theft.
- Petit Theft of the Second Degree
- Person stole property valued at less than $100
- Misdemeanor of the Second Degree
- Imprisonment of not more than 60 days and a fine not to exceed $500
- Petit Theft of the First Degree
- Property stolen is valued between $100 and $300
- Misdemeanor of the First Degree
- Imprisonment not to exceed one year and $1,000 fine
A person convicted of petit theft of gasoline will subsequently have their driver’s license suspended for six (6) months for their first offense, and one year for repeat offenses. If you have been charged with petit theft or any theft related offense in Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, and Pasco County, Florida, you need an experienced theft criminal defense attorney assist you with your legal matter. Contact the Law Office of Ashley Aulls at (352) 593-4115 to schedule your consultation.
Grand Theft in Florida and Its Penalties
Pursuant to Florida Statute 812.014, Grand Theft is the charge designated for theft of property that is higher in financial value, theft of specific property, of if certain aggravating circumstances are involved. In the State of Florida, theft of property valued less than $300 will generally be charged as a misdemeanor offense known as Petit Theft. Theft of property valued between $300 and $20,000, or involved any of the following items:
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Any commercially farmed animal, such as horses or aquaculture species (i.e. fish)
- Citrus fruit, such as oranges, in excess of 2,000 individual fruits
- Fire extinguisher
- Motor vehicle, when carjacking is not involved
- Property from a construction site identified by proper signage
- Stop sign
- Will, as in last will and testament
- Grand Theft of the Third Degree can be punished with up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
- Grand Theft of the Second Degree can be punished with up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
- Grand Theft of the First Degree can be punished with up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
In some cases, theft charges may be “stacked”. After a third conviction for petit theft, the State can charge the individual with a felony—even if the alleged stolen property has a value of less than $300.
The Importance of an Experienced Attorney
A person convicted of a theft-related offense will forever have their credibility questioned. This is because theft, whether a misdemeanor or felony, is considered by the judicial system as a crime of “dishonesty or untruthfulness”. Being looked at as dishonest or untruthful person does not help that person’s disposition and it could possibly cause unfavorable treatment in both the courtroom and their job. A person convicted of retail theft may find it challenging to find employment in certain fields, such as: accounting, real estate, law enforcement, or contracting. Certain jobs requiring the person to handle money, such as a cashier or bank teller, may not consider the person as a viable candidate for the position because they would be perceived as a dishonest or untrustworthy person. If you have been charged with retail theft, petit theft, shoplifting, or any property offense in Brooksville, Crystal River, Dade City, New Port Richey, Spring Hill, or any city in Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, and Pasco County, Florida, you need an experienced theft criminal defense attorney assist you with your legal matter. Contact the Law Office of Ashley Aulls at (352) 593-4115 to schedule your consultation. http://fortune.com/2015/06/24/shoplifting-worker-theft-cost-retailers-32-billion-in-2014/