I read an article on the News4jax.com website about two men that the Clay County Sheriff’s Office is looking for in reference to a retail theft. The article read:
“The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help identifying two shoplifting suspects. Deputies said the men entered the Walmart on Branan Field Road and went to the electronics department. Investigators said they removed the security device from some electronics and left the store without paying. The first suspect is described as approximately 6′ tall, medium to heavy build and shaved head. The second suspect is approximately 5’9″ with a shaved head. Video surveillance shows the suspects arriving and leaving in a silver or white 4-door car that appears to have a dent on the driver’s side front fender.”
This Jacksonville news article caught my eye, because not every shoplifting case is broadcasted on a local media’s webpage. As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I can say that the majority of shoplifting cases that I have seen are for petit theft which is a misdemeanor. In order for a shoplifting case to be considered misdemeanor, the value of the property taken must be valued at less than $300. When it comes to shoplifting, this is usually the case. I have represented people accused of grand theft after shoplifting. In order to be charged with Florida grand theft after shoplifting, the value of the property must be worth $300 or more. This amount is easy to achieve when it comes to certain items. For instance, an expensive purse may meet the threshold amount to turn what would be a misdemeanor into a felony offense. Jewelry and watches can also lead to a felony grand theft arrest. Electronics are common items that will result in grand theft charges.
The news article that I quoted above only states that two men took electronics items without paying for them. These were likely valuable items due to the fact that Channel 4 News of Jacksonville is reporting the story. This means that the two men may be arrested for grand theft in Clay County assuming that the value of the property take was worth $300 or more. What is the punishment for grand theft under Florida law? As a felony, grand theft could lead to time in the Clay County Jail or to a Florida prison sentence. It may also result in a person being adjudicated guilty of a felony. If you are adjudicated guilty of a felony, you are considered a convicted felon.
(1) A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:
(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.
Florida Statute Section 812.014 also sets forth the punishment for grand theft. Grand theft is a third-degree felony if the property taken is valued at $300 or more, but less than $20,000. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison.
Clay County police are looking for the two men mentioned in news story above. If they have suspects, they will likely want to question them. These suspects do not have to speak to police. They may speak to a Clay County attorney before talking to detectives.
Theft charges are serious. Whether you were issued a notice to appear for grand theft or petit theft in Jacksonville or the surrounding towns, you have been accused of a crime. Most people do not want a theft crime to show up on a Florida criminal background check. If you have been accused of shoplifting, talk to a Jacksonville criminal lawyer about your situation. Call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525.