If you were recently arrested for shoplifting in Florida, you’re probably wondering about the applicable laws. Florida does not have a specific law about shoplifting. Instead, Florida’s shoplifting offenses are prosecuted under Florida’s theft law, which is covered under Section 812.014 of the Florida Statutes.
Under Florida law, you commit the offense of “theft” when you knowingly obtain or use, or seek to obtain or use someone else’s property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive them of their property. In other words, you commit theft if you steal someone else’s property, and this includes the property of a retail establishment, such as a grocery store, a superstore like Walmart or Target, or any other business that sells goods.
What is the Value of the Stolen Goods?
In Florida, theft is divided into two categories: grand theft and petit (petty) theft, and whether a theft (or shoplifting) charge is prosecuted as grand theft or petit theft, it all comes down to the value of the stolen goods. Understandably, the more the stolen property is worth, the higher the charges.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it helps explain how theft is prosecuted in Florida:
- If the property is not specified (usually it’s worth less than $100), it is petit theft of the second degree, a second-degree misdemeanor.
- If the stolen goods are worth $100 or more, but less than $750, it is petit theft in the first degree, a first degree misdemeanor.
- If the stolen property is worth $750 or more, but less than $5,000, it is grand theft of the third degree, a felony of the third degree.
- If the stolen property is worth $5,000 or more, but less than $10,000, it is grand theft of the third degree, a felony of the third degree.
As I demonstrated above, shoplifting can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the stolen property. Not surprisingly, an expensive item doesn’t have to be large in size for it to be worth a lot of money. For example, someone can easily shoplift a $1,000 ring, or $750 dollars in high-end cosmetics, perfume, or cologne from a department store.
Are you facing theft charges for shoplifting in Miami? If so, contact my firm at once to schedule a free case evaluation.