Shop-Lifting: Right to Detain

Florida law allows a shop owner or employee to detain the suspect if they have a reason to believe that the person has taken, concealed, moved, or had failed to pay for the item before stepping out of the store according to our Theft Attorneys.

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The stores have the legal right to ask the accused to return the goods and to forbid his entry in the store (see trespass after warning section). The store owner can obviously take legal action against the offender and charge him/her with a civil penalty, however, criminal restitution statues obviate the need for this remedy if the accused is convicted.

This raises interesting issues according to criminal attorneys. It is important to remember, claims criminal defense attorney William R. Moore, that an arresting officer books a theft suspect on charges that he feels is appropriate and legal. It is the prosecutor, however, that decides the degree of theft charge to file on (and hence, the penalties) based on the circumstances of the situation. Criminal lawyers defending shoplifting charges should always explain to an accused potential changes in charges that can affect their bond status.

Shoplifting Penalties Depend on Value of Items Taken

The ultimate charge is applied depending on the facts presented by the victim and arresting officer. Additional charges apply if a person has history of shoplifting or any other criminal record. The individual’s cooperation and identity proof is also a factor while applying shoplifting charges.

Our Shoplifting Lawyers in Broward County have represented hundreds of people accused of theft crimes in South Florida.

Our Criminal Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale have handled thousands of cases. Learn more about our defense team.

Defenses Used by Theft Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale & Broward
There are some varied defenses depending on the allegations surrounding your arrest for theft. A criminal lawyer can take into consideration some common mistakes while defending the accused. Your attorney may establish that it is a false accusation by the loss prevention officer or that the incident was based on mistake. It is not a crime to exit an establishment without realizing that he/she has an item belonging to the store that was not paid for. The defense can also show evidence that the person was leaving the store in an emergency or for another purpose then stealing the item. A poor quality video also works in favor of defendant. Other defenses, which an attorney can assert are, overenthusiastic prosecution by stores and loss prevention officers, a trap by co-defendant, items not found in the possession of the defender, and price tags being changed or detached by previous customers. All defenses, however, must be supported by facts claims Broward Firm William R. Moore Criminal Defense.

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