Loss Prevention Officers stop a Dutch Tourist for shoplifting cologne at a local Sears store. The Loss Prevention Officers document the Defendant removing cologne from its packaging, placing the cologne in his back pocket and the empty package back onto the store shelf. The Defendant tries leaving the store without paying for the cologne and is then stopped by security. The Police are called to the store and the Defendant is arrested for Petit Theft.
Under Florida law, Petit Theft is defined as the taking of property that is valued at $300 or under. The offender has the intent to deprive the owner of their rights to the property, either on a temporary or permanent basis. Petit Theft can occur in a store or elsewhere.
Petit Theft is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. The defendant could spend up to 6 months in jail, 6 months of probation, and/or a fine up to $500. The judge can impose any combination of the aforementioned on the defendant. Anyone that has been convicted of Petit Theft in the state of Florida could also be subjected to having their driver’s licenses suspended.
In order for the prosecution to show proof of Petit Theft, they will use a variety of tactics. This may include video surveillance footage from the store, testimonies of the loss prevention officer on duty at the time of the alleged stealing, business records, receipts, testimonials from customers that were shopping at the time the defendant was, written statements of the accused, and photographs of the items taken.
Plea in Absentia
A Plea in Absentia is often used when an offender lives out of state or in another country. A Plea in Absentia means the defendant will enter a plea without actually stepping foot into a courtroom.
The defendant must first sign an affidavit indicating they fully understand any of the consequences of their plea. It also states within the affidavit that they will accept their plea offer from the prosecution. The form must be notarized, or else it will not hold up in court.
Obtaining Attorney Services
If you have been arrested for Petit theft or any other criminal activity, you need a lawyer that is skilled with years of experience under their belt. At Musca Law, we will fight for your behalf and do our best to reach a favorable outcome for your case. We have many different defenses that can be used on your behalf for Petit Theft, including mistaken identity, mistaken accusations, customer mistakenly leaving the store, and more. Call us today for a free consultation to see how one of our attorneys can help you.
RESULT: The Client lives out of the country and the Defense Attorney filed a Plea in Absentia on his behalf. The Defense Attorney negotiated the details of the proceeding with the Prosecution. The Prosecution was persuaded by the Defense to DROP ALL CHARGES against the Client.