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Orlando Shoplifting Lawyer


Shoplifting or retail theft is a serious offense in Florida, a state that punishes all theft offenses harshly. Not only may you face penalties imposed by the court, a conviction may affect employment opportunities and more, as you will have a criminal record. Theft offenses are considered "crimes of dishonesty," which employers frown upon. If you have been accused of shoplifting or retail theft, we urge you to contact the Orlando theft defense lawyers at Adams & Luka immediately. We provide vigorous, effective legal representation for individuals who have been arrested or charged, or who are under investigation.

Florida Statute §812.015 defines retail theft as:

  • Taking property, money, negotiable documents (document showing possession of goods/merchandise), or merchandise;
  • the transfer of merchandise from one container or package to another;
  • changing or removing a label, price tag, or UPC (universal product code)
  • removing a shopping cart

The intent of any of the above actions is to deprive the merchant of use, benefit, possession, or full retail value of the property/merchandise taken. How serious the charges you face are depend on the value of the property involved. Merchandise valued at less than $300 will typically be charged as petit or petty theft according to Florida Statute §812.014, which can be charged as first or second degree. Shoplifting or retail theft of property valued at more than $300 may be charged as grand theft, which may be charged as first, second, or third degree.

Defenses to Charges of Shoplifting in Florida

Because of the potential impact to your reputation and employment, it may be worth the time and effort to fight charges of retail theft. Depending on your situation, the options may include having charges reduced, dismissed, or going to trial to clear your name. Some of the most common defenses used by Orlando shoplifting attorneys to defend those charged include:

  • Intent to deprive the merchant/retail establishment of its property
  • Intentionally concealing or possession of merchandise offered for sale

Prosecutors must prove certain elements of every crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In the case of shoplifting or retail theft, intent is key. You may not have intentionally concealed an item, or purposely intended to deprive the merchant of the item or product without paying for it.

Challenging witnesses may also be a viable defense, particularly in cases where there was no video evidence and allegations are based on what witnesses claim to have seen, which may be false.

Criminal Penalties for Shoplifting in Orlando & Central Florida

The penalties an individual may face if found guilty of shoplifting depend on the value of the merchandise taken, and whether the offense is charged as first or second degree petit theft, or first, second, or third degree grand theft.

Second degree petit theft is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail, and fines of up to $500.

First degree petit theft is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and fines of as much as $1,000.

Third degree grand theft is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of as much as $5,000.

Second degree grand theft is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

First degree grand theft is a felony punishable by up to 30 years or possibly life in prison, along with fines of up to $10,000.

Contact Adams & Luka Immediately

As you can see, the punishment for a shoplifting conviction can be extremely harsh, depending on the value of the merchandise and other factors. Our Orlando retail theft attorneys are committed to providing you with unparalleled legal guidance and support, always working vigorously toward the best possible results. Contact us now for a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.

Client Reviews

I would like thank my attorney Thomas Luka. I knew from the beginning I had the right guy in my corner. While celebrating with family and friends at a Public Park in Seminole County, a fight broke out among various people. Myself, and a good friend, broke up the fight and the instigators left. Six months later, I was wrongly accused as the person who started the fight. The first attorney I hired could not even get a response from the State Attorney handling the case. Someone referred me to Tom and I felt comfortable at his demeanor and reactions.

After conversations with Tom, who knew I would settle for nothing less than a FULL DISMISSAL due to my innocence, I hired him. His firm of Adams and Luka did the due diligence by interviewing witnesses and the police who were on the scene, as well as starting a dialogue with the State Attorney. After gathering statements from witnesses, Tom was able to present a strong argument on my behalf to the State Attorney on why the case should be dismissed. If the State Attorney was not willing to dismiss the case, Tom was ready to take the case to trial.

The result by Thomas Luka: Case Dismissed.

I am 53 years old with a spotless record and glad to keep it that way thanks to the time, effort, hard work, and professionalism of the Adams and Luka and Tom Luka.

Earl from Mesquite
Thomas Luka left a life-long great impression of lawyers. He was always professional, on time, and answered things honestly. From the start and during the 14 months it went on - Tom was very upfront and honest with me about the possible outcomes. The result was better than I had hoped for. Tom really over-delivered. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Marcela Giorgi
Adams and Luka were very professional and savvy in the courtroom. When you're in court with Mr. Luka you will think you have the best attorney there. I recommend this law firm. Pioneer Tech
Rich Adams is an outstanding criminal attorney. I have had the opportunity to refer several friends and clients to his practice for handling of criminal matters, and on every occasion he has produced an excellent result. Rich practices with attention to detail, a thorough knowledge of the law, and a passion to defend his clients. I will continue to refer clients to Rich Adams, and would strongly recommend him for your legal needs. Brian Pink