In our last post, we discussed how summertime boredom can bring kids of all ages to area big box stores and shopping malls in search of something to do. We also discussed how this can be problematic, as these young people, perhaps eager for a thrill, can sometimes pressure one another into shoplifting items of little or considerable value.

We also spent some time examining how shoplifting — otherwise known as retail theft — is viewed under Florida law. Indeed, it encompasses not just concealing an item in a pocket or under a shirt, but also altering or removing price tags, removing shopping carts or transferring merchandise between containers.

We’ll continue examining this topic in today’s post, taking a closer look at some of the penalties called for under state law for retail theft.

If the item(s) shoplifted was relatively inexpensive, what are the potential penalties?  

If a person is accused of taking an item(s) worth $100 or less, they will likely be charged with second-degree petit theft. This is considered a second-degree misdemeanor under the law and, as such, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

If the item(s) shoplifted was relatively expensive, what are the potential penalties?  

If a person is accused of taking an item(s) worth between $100 and $299, they will likely be charged with first-degree petit theft. This is considered a first-degree misdemeanor under the law and, as such, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

What if a person has been caught taking relatively inexpensive items more than once?

If a person has been caught shoplifting items less than $100 for a second time, they will likely be charged with first-degree petit theft, which is punishable as outlined above.

If your child has recently been involved in any of the above-outlined scenarios, it’s extremely important to consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible given the possible consequences both now and in the future

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