Shoplifting convictions carry severe penalties in the state of Florida. Possible sentences include fines and jail time, but that is not all you have to worry about if you are facing charges. In addition to taking on the prosecutor in a criminal case, you may also face a civil case because the merchant has the right to sue you for damages.
If you are facing shoplifting charges, the potential penalties depend on a variety of factors, including any prior convictions on your record and the value of the items that you allegedly stole. For example, pursuant to Florida Statutes, shoplifting is a third-degree felony if the stolen property is worth over $300.
If police have accused you of shoplifting, it is important to remember that you have options, and a conviction is not necessarily the only possible outcome. A shoplifting lawyer can help you explore these options while defending your rights every step of the way.
Contact DiRenzo Defense to discuss your case with a criminal attorney in Fort Lauderdale. William DiRenzo has conducted more than 150 jury trials in his career and has argued countless Motions to Suppress and Dismiss, and he will use this experience to help you devise a comprehensive defense. Call 954-653-2172 to schedule a free case evaluation.
The most effective defense for your particular situation will ultimately depend on the circumstances of your case. Read on to learn about a few possible ways to challenge shoplifting charges:
Claiming Unreliable Witnesses
Reports from bystanders and sales associates can be unreliable, and in most cases, their observations do not constitute a valid claim against you unless there is additional evidence that you did in fact shoplift. After reviewing your case, your attorney may advise you that the strongest defense will be to challenge the observations of any witnesses. If doing so can raise reasonable doubt for the jurors, this could result in an acquittal.
Denying Criminal Intent
Intent is essential when it comes to shoplifting charges. If your attorney can prove that you did not intend to take the items without paying for them, that may be all the defense you need to resolve the case in your favor.
Negotiating a Deal
If the prosecutor has legitimate evidence against you, your only option may be to negotiate a plea deal for reduced charges or lesser sentencing. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may even be able to negotiate with the owner of the store directly and prevent the business from prosecuting you for the alleged crime.
If you are facing shoplifting charges, turn to DiRenzo Defense to discuss your situation with an experienced criminal attorney. As a former prosecutor, Mr. DiRenzo has a unique skill set that allows him to provide invaluable legal counsel, and unlike other attorneys, criminal defense is his sole practice area.
Call 954-653-2172 to schedule a free consultation with a Fort Lauderdale shoplifting lawyer. You can learn more about criminal defense strategies by visiting the USAttorneys website.