Department store loss prevention officers witnessed the suspect placing items off the rack and into a large handbag. The suspect then passed all points of sale without attempting to purchase the concealed items. Loss prevention officers detained the suspect and the Police were called. The Police arrested the Defendant on charges of Petit Theft.
Petit theft can result in either a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge based on the value of the possessions taken. This crime is committed when an individual knowingly takes the property of another person with the intent being either temporary or permanent. They are depriving the owner of the right to use or benefit from the possession.
Diversion Program For Petit Theft in Florida
A Diversion program is an offer from the state that states all charges will be dropped against you if you complete the program. This program is offered to first-time offenders. It should not be confused with probation, as these two are not the same situation.
The Diversion program was created to identify and divert offenders to specialized programs. The program requires a contract to be signed which will wave the right to a speedy trial. The program will last between 6 months to 12 months, with requirements and sanctions to be met during this time frame.
The cost of the program will be the responsibility of the offender to pay. The cost depends on the number of months it takes to successfully complete the program. An individual attending the program for 6 months or less will be charged $360. Anyone using the program for 9 months will be billed $560, while a 12-month session will cost the offender $720. There will also be a $50 cost of prosecution fee that must be paid by the offender. Fees cannot be waived or reduced, as the program is voluntary. It is funded by the individuals that utilize the program. These program fees will cover the cost of being supervised, however there will be additional charges for classes attended and treatment needed.
If you have been accused of petit theft, you need the help of an experienced lawyer to assist you. A lawyer will be able to stand up for your rights and defend your case. Petit theft is a serious charge that comes with some rough consequences. An aggressive attorney can assist the offender in receiving the help they need to enter a Diversion program. Once the Diversion program is completed, the lawyer will be able to have your record expunged. With a record that has been expunged, you will not need to worry about having to explain charges when you have job interviews and will be eligible for student loans for colleges and much more.
RESULT: The defense entered into negotiations with the State over the case details. The Attorney successfully arranged for the Client to be entered into a Diversion Program versus face Court prosecution. The Client completed the program and the State DROPPED all charges against the Client.