Is Shoplifting in Jacksonville a Misdemeanor or Felony Theft Charge?

If you were accused of shoplifting or stealing from a store in Jacksonville, you may be arrested for Florida theft or issued a notice to appear citation (See Stealing, Shoplifting, and Theft Arrests in Jacksonville, Florida).  If you are arrested for shoplifting in Jacksonville, you may be charged with Florida petty theft (petit theft) or grand theft in Duval County.

Whether you are charged with petty theft or grand theft in Jacksonville will depend on the amount that you are accused of taking from the store.  When you are stopped for shoplifting in Jacksonville, the security guard or store employee will usually ask you for the merchandise that you are carrying.  The value of that property, the merchandise or items being shoplifted, will determine the Jacksonville theft charge that you will be arrested for.  If the value of the property that you are accused of stealing in Jacksonville is worth $300 or more, you can be charged with Jacksonville grand theft.  Jacksonville grand theft is a felony in Florida. If the value of the property that you have been accused of shoplifting in Jacksonville is worth less than $300, you will be arrested for Jacksonville petit theft.  Under Florida’s theft laws, Jacksonville petit theft is a misdemeanor.  If your Jacksonville petty theft arrest is your first Florida theft charge, you will be facing a misdemeanor.  If you have a prior conviction for theft in Florida or another state, your Jacksonville theft charge may be upgraded to a felony.  Under Florida’s theft laws, this is known as Jacksonville felony petit theft.  Read Florida Theft Law for Jacksonville Grand Theft and Petty Theft Arrests, for more information about Florida theft charges and Jacksonville theft arrests and for a comparison of misdemeanors and felony crimes under Florida’s theft law, Florida Statute 812.014.

If you were accused of stealing or shoplifting in Jacksonville, you need to take this Jacksonville theft arrest seriously.  Even if you are facing a misdemeanor, such as a Jacksonville petit theft charge, you should understand the consequences that this Jacksonville theft arrest will have on your Florida criminal record. When you are looking for a job in Jacksonville, a potential employer may run a Florida criminal background check to see your prior arrests in Florida.  When you are job searching in Jacksonville, many job applications ask if you have been arrested.  Many employers frown upon and disapprove of any type of Florida theft charge, including a shoplifting arrest in Jacksonville.  Even if you are only facing a misdemeanor Jacksonville petty theft charge, this could affect your ability to get a job in Jacksonville. Therefore, it is important to defend yourself in a Jacksonville theft case immediately.   The sooner you attack the Jacksonville theft case, the better.  You may be able to defend against a Jacksonville grand theft or petty theft case due to a lack of evidence or by proving that you were falsely accused of stealing. In some Jacksonville theft cases, the Duval County State Attorney Office may consider diverting the Jacksonville theft case.  This could result in the State of Florida dropping you Florida theft charges.

The last thing that you want to do is be convicted of a Jacksonville theft crime, because this will affect your ability to seal or expunge your Jacksonville criminal record. If the charges are dropped a you may be able to expunge the Florida criminal record.  If you are given a withhold of adjudication, a Jacksonville record sealing lawyer may be able to seal your Florida criminal record.  If you want to eventually clear your Florida criminal record, you cannot be convicted of Jacksonville theft.  There are crimes that cannot be sealed in Florida, but Jacksonville petit theft and grand theft can be sealed.  If you have been arrested for shoplifting or any other Florida theft in Jacksonville, It is important to talk to a Jacksonville theft lawyer before making any decisions. You can talk to a lawyer in Jacksonville with experience with Florida theft cases and that can seal or expunge a criminal record in Florida.

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