Any theft, retail theft, or shoplifting charge is considered a "crime of dishonesty" under Florida law which can have serious consequences to your future employment opportunities. Defenses exist to fight this charge and many counties will consider dropping the charges if the client enters and successfully completes a diversion program.
Find out what you need to do right now to protect yourself against an allegation of theft, retail theft or shoplifting in Hillsborough County, Polk County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County or Sarasota County.
Under Florida Statute Section 812.015(1) dealing with Retail Theft or Shoplifting the State must prove the following elements beyond all reasonable doubt:
- the Defendant acted knowingly;
- with the intention to take away from the owner of the store the use, possession, full retail value of the merchandise; and
- carried away the items or otherwise took possession of the merchandise;
- removed or destroyed a retail tag or retail label from the merchandise; or
- moved the merchandise to a different container.
"Merchant" means an owner or operator and the agent, consignee, employee, lessee or officer of an owner or operator of any premises (or apparatus) used for retail purchase or sale of any merchandise.
"Value of merchandise" means the sale price of the merchandise at the time it was stolen or otherwise removed depriving the owner of his lawful right to ownership and sale of said item.
"Knowingly" means with actual knowledge and understanding of the facts or the truth or an act done voluntarily and intentionally and not because of mistake or accident or other innocent reason.
If you have been accused of Shoplifting, Petit Theft or Retail Theft contact a Tampa criminal attorney experienced in fighting theft charges. Call to speak with an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm, P.A., today at (813)250-0500.