CVS store security observed an employee stealing merchandise. The security staff pulled the employee/suspect aside during his shift to address the theft. The store fired the dishonest employee and pressed Petit Theft charges against him.
Petit Theft in Florida
Petit theft in Florida is generally charged as a misdemeanor. However, in certain cases, it can be charged as a felony. Petit theft may also be referred to as petty theft, retail theft, or shoplifting. In Florida, it is a “dishonest crime” to shoplift in any manner.
Employees that steal from their employers are considered organized theft. A large majority of retail loss comes with organized theft. Organized theft can happen when:
- An employee works with a customer who is a friend that receives a refund for stolen items
- Stealing items in the store, and then selling them
- Store employees working with a friend during the delivery of an item to steal it
- Duplicating gift cards to defraud the store they work in
There must be certain elements met in order for an employer to state an employee was shoplifting. These elements include:
- The employee was seen selecting merchandise that they did not have on them when their shift started.
- The employee that was accused of shoplifting took the items into his or her possession.
- The employee tried to conceal the merchandise.
- The employee tried to exit the store without paying for the merchandise.
Zero Tolerance Policy on Large Establishments
Many large and well-known establishments, such as CVS stores, have a zero-tolerance policy on shoplifting. This policy states that any person caught shoplifting in their store be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Other stores that have this policy include Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Sears, Home Depot, and Lowes.
If you have been accused or charged with petit theft or shoplifting, you need legal representation. An attorney will be able to guide you through the process of a hearing and can fight for you to have the charge dropped and your record expunged. There are several different ways that an attorney can go about this, as they have the skills needed to argue with the prosecution. If you do not hire a lawyer, you may face having to be honest about your misdemeanor when you fill out applications for jobs, schooling, housing, and more.
The prosecution will need to prove that the offender intended to take merchandise that did not belong to them without paying for it.
Result: The Defendant obtained legal representation from Musca Law to fight the charges. The Defense Attorney entered into intense negotiations with the Prosecutor over the Client’s fate. The Client had previous criminal convictions and could possibly face jail time for his crime. The Defense obtained a generous plea deal from the Prosecution. The Client received no formal finding of guilt on the charges of Petit Theft and did not go back to jail.