Loss Prevention Officers witnessed the Defendant enter a store with empty shopping bags and a cart. The Defendant allegedly placed numerous products into the cart, totaling $278.00. He then passed all points of sale and attempted to leave without paying. The Defendant originally told Loss Prevention that his wife held the receipt for the items, but later confessed to the crime. Police arrested the Defendant and charged him with Petit Theft. At the time of the arrest, the Defendant was currently serving probation stemming from a DUI arrest. The Defendant now faced charges of Violating Probation.
If you have violated your probation, the court can impose the original sentence. This means the defendant could receive a maximum sentence but not in excess of the original offense.
In order for a person to violate their probation, an individual must knowingly and willfully violate the terms that have been set forth for their probation period. Many common violations of probation include new violations, positive drug testing, failure to complete a drug course, failure to pay all fines and restitution, and/or missed appointments with a probation officer.
In Florida, Petit Theft is defined as taking any property that is valued at $300 or less. Petit theft is a misdemeanor which can result in up to 60 days in jail. Your driver’s license will also be suspended for up to 6 months.
Petit theft is considered to be a crime of dishonest, which will remain on your criminal record. This can come back to haunt you in the future because it may impact your future employment opportunities and/or your ability to find someone willing to rent or sell you a home. Employers and landowners have every right not to choose someone who has committed a crime of dishonesty. You may also not be allowed to hold a professional license in certain fields, and it could be hard to get into some colleges or receive financial aid.
Defenses that can be used for petit theft include:
- Mistaken identity of the defendant;
- Being set up by a co-defendant;
- Items not found in the possession of the accused;
- Exiting the store for purposes other than to steal (i.e. to retrieve a wallet or purse from the car in order to pay);
- Poor quality video creating a factual dispute about a suspect’s identity;
- False accusations by loss prevention officers;
- Mistaken accusations;
- Taking items for purposes other than to steal them;
- Price tags being altered or removed by previous customers;
- Momentary deprivation of property;
- Customer forgetting about items placed in a bag or stroller.
Musca Law Firm
If you have violated your probation, committed petit theft, or have been charged with other criminal charges, it is in your best interest to obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Musca Law Firm has dealt with a wide range of criminal charges, and are will to negotiate with the prosecution to fight for your rights. With over 150-years of combined experience among our team of lawyers, we are highly capable of building a strong and strategic defense on your behalf to obtain the best outcome possible for your case. For our clients’ convenience, we have offices in multiple cities throughout the state of Florida and we answer our phones 24/7 so that we can be available when you need us. Don’t hesitate to call us today at (888) 484-5057 to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
RESULT: The Musca Defense Attorney prepared for the Violation of Probation hearing. The Defense convinced the presiding Judge that the Defendant had no malice on the day of the Petit Theft arrest. The State DROPPED the violation and REINSTATED the Client’s probation.