Retail Theft Charges in Miami

Imagine the sinking feeling in your stomach as you find yourself in a situation you never thought possible. You’re facing retail theft charges, and the entire ordeal is overwhelming. Whether this is the result of a misunderstanding or a momentary lapse in judgment, you must take these charges seriously. The consequences of a conviction can be life-altering, impacting your reputation, career, and personal relationships. In this blog post, we will provide you with the information you need to understand the legal process and your options better when facing retail theft charges in Miami, Florida.

Understanding Retail Theft: Florida’s Definition and Potential Penalties

In Florida, retail theft, commonly referred to as shoplifting, is defined under Florida Statute §812.014 as the taking possession, carrying away, or transferring of property with the intent to deprive the merchant of the property’s use, value, or benefit. Retail theft can encompass various actions, including altering price tags, removing shopping carts, or utilizing devices to facilitate theft. The severity of the charges and potential penalties depend on the value of the stolen items.

Petit Theft vs. Grand Theft

  1. Petit Theft: If the stolen property is valued at less than $750, the offense is classified as petit theft. Petit theft can be further divided into two degrees:
    • First-Degree Petit Theft: The value of the property is between $100 and $750. This offense is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, 12 months of probation, and a $1,000 fine.
    • Second-Degree Petit Theft: The value of the property is less than $100. This offense is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine.
  1. Grand Theft: If the stolen property is valued at $750 or more, the offense is classified as grand theft. Grand theft is further divided into three degrees, with the most severe being first-degree grand theft, which can result in up to 30 years in prison.

Additional Consequences

Aside from criminal penalties, retail theft charges can result in civil liability. Florida Statute §772.11 allows merchants to pursue civil damages against the accused for the stolen property’s value, additional penalties, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Defending Your Rights: Strategies to Fight Retail Theft Charges

When facing retail theft charges, it’s crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Your attorney will review the facts and circumstances of your case, identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence, and develop a defense strategy tailored to your situation. Common defenses for retail theft charges include:

  1. Lack of Intent: Your attorney may argue that you didn’t have the intent to steal, which is a required element of retail theft.
  2. Mistake or Misunderstanding: If you believed you had the right to the property or accidentally took the items without realizing it, your attorney could use this as a defense.
  3. Insufficient Evidence: If the prosecution’s evidence is weak or insufficient, your attorney may be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed.
  4. Illegal Search and Seizure: If law enforcement violates your constitutional rights during the investigation or arrest, any illegally obtained evidence may be suppressed.

Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney: Your Key to a Strong Defense

Facing retail theft charges can be a daunting experience, but you don’t have to face it alone. Enlisting the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential in protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case. At our Miami-based law firm, we understand the complexities of Florida’s retail theft laws and the impact a conviction can have on your life. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys are committed to providing you with a robust defense and personalized guidance throughout the legal process.

Take Control of Your Future by Addressing Retail Theft Charges Head-On

Facing retail theft charges can be a distressing and uncertain time in your life. But with the right information, legal representation, and a proactive approach, you can effectively navigate the challenges ahead. Remember, you have rights, and you deserve a strong defense. By understanding the legal process, potential defenses, and the importance of securing an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can take control of your future and address these charges head-on.

If you or a loved one is facing retail theft charges in Miami, Florida, don’t hesitate to contact our skilled criminal defense attorneys. Let us put our expertise to work for you, providing the support and representation you need during this critical time.

CALL US NOW for a CONFIDENTIAL INITIAL CONSULTATION at (305) 538-4545,  or take a moment to fill out our confidential and secure intake form.* The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry.


*Due to the large number of people who contact our law office requesting our assistance, it is strongly suggested that you take the time to provide us with specific details regarding your case by filling out our confidential and secure intake form. The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry promptly and appropriately.