What Is Retail Theft?
Retail theft means the taking or carrying away of merchandise, property, money, or negotiable documents; altering or removing a label, universal product code, or price tag; transferring merchandise from one container to another; or removing a shopping cart, with intent to deprive the merchant of the possession, use, benefit, or full retail value. See Section 812.015(1)(d), Florida Statutes. Merchandise means any personal property, capable of manual delivery, displayed, held, or offered for retail sale by a merchant. See Section 812.015(1)(a), Florida Statutes. For example, when someone goes into a Wal-mart or Home Depot store and takes merchandise without paying for it, the act is considered shoplifting and constitutes retail theft.
What is Employee Theft?
Employee theft is defined as stealing or use of an employer’s assets without permission. The most common asset stolen from employers is money and merchandise or company property. For example, if someone working at a Wal-mart or Home Depot makes it possible or allows merchandise to leave the store without paying the act is considered employee theft.
What Is the Difference Between Petit Theft and Grand Theft?
Petit theft is a misdemeanor. Grand theft is a felony. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the value of the property. The felony theft threshold is $750.00.
What Is a Theft Threshold?
A theft threshold is the value of property stolen that increases the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony. For example, if a person takes an item worth $700.00 they can be charged with a misdemeanor. On the other hand, if a person takes an item worth $750.00 or more they can be charged with third-degree grand theft, which is a felony and carries a prison sentence of 5 years and a fine of up to $5,000, and other consequences, such as the right to possess a firearm. A convicted felon can have difficulty getting a job, renting an apartment or home, and maybe prohibited from obtaining certain licenses.
What Is a Theft Crimes Aggregation Period?
The aggregation period is the number of days in which the value of items for multiple offenses will be totaled. For example, if a person takes property worth $300.00 on one day and then takes another item worth $450.00 within 29 days, the value would be calculated together for a sum of $750.00, and they can be charged with a third-degree felony. That means if someone takes $750.00 over a one-month period, they can be charged with a felony.
Should I Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you or a loved one have been arrested for retail or employee theft it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The difference between petit theft and grand theft is complex. Petit theft is a misdemeanor. Grand theft is a felony, which can lead to a long prison sentence and other serious consequences.
Why Fernandez & Hernandez?
If you or someone you know has been arrested for retail or employee theft in the Tampa Bay area and needs help, Fernandez & Hernandez will guide you through the process and may be able to assist you in getting the outcome you deserve. Theft cases can be complex. The attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez are bilingual and will provide a free and confidential consultation or contact us using an online form with your information so that you can discuss your situation. Fernandez & Hernandez can help you understand all of your options and may be able to help you find a solution to your problem.
If you or a loved one have been arrested in the Tampa Bay area and charged with retail or employee theft, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to have the charges reduced or have the case dismissed, which may keep you from going to jail, and may prevent you from having a record.
Criminal defense attorney Daniel J. Fernandez has experience with retail and employee theft cases and will work diligently to get your situation resolved. Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez can help guide you through the process. If you need legal assistance with a retail or employee theft charge call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at (813) 229-5353.