Orlando retail theft means the taking possession of 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 possession, use, benefit, or full retail value. If the value of the merchandise is less than $100 the charge will be petit theft second degree which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, up to 6 months of probation and up to a $500 fine. If the value of the property is over $100 but less than $300 it would be classified as petit theft first degree punishable by up to a year in jail, up to 12 months of probation and up to a $1,000 fine. If you are adjudicated guilty of petit theft your driver's license can be suspended for 6 months on the first conviction and 12 months on each subsequent conviction. If the accused has a prior theft the second theft can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor regardless of value. If the accused has 2 or more prior convictions the case can be charged as a third degree felony regardless of the value alleged during the current offense. A third degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, up to 60 months of probation and up to a $5,000 fine. Retail theft is similar to petty theft with the additional element that the alleged victim must be a merchant. A merchant is an owner or operator, or the agent, consignee, employee, lessee, or officer of an owner or operator, of any premises or apparatus used for retail purchase or sale of any merchandise. The penalties for retail theft are nearly identical to the penalties of petit theft. The only exception is on a second offense retail theft the court is required to impose a $50 minimum fine in addition to the court costs. An Orlando retail theft conviction can result in a 6 month driver's license suspension on the first conviction and a 12 month driver's license conviction on a second or subsequent conviction. Call Orlando retail theft attorney Kevin J. Pitts at 407-268-3688 to set up a free consultation.
An Orlando retail theft case has defenses and Orlando retail theft attorney Kevin J. Pitts understands how to defend these cases. Theft accusations can be complicated. The State Attorney's office must prove that the defendant knowingly and illegally obtained or tried to obtain the property of the alleged victim. It must also be proven that the defendant did so with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of his or her right to the property or to benefit from it by appropriating the property. Defenses for petit theft include abandonment, that the accused owned or had an equal or greater ownership interest than the alleged victim, the property had no value and good faith possession when the accused believes they have the rights to the property or the accused did not have the intent to steal when they took possession. An Orlando retail theft conviction can also result in the suspension of your driver's license, can be used against you if you testify in court in the future, can make obtaining employment difficult and is an enhanceable offense.