Most theft crimes occur throughout the Florida panhandle if they intentionally take another person’s property. However, theft crime allegations can frequently arise from a mistake or false accusations. For example, anyone who accidentally walks out of a store without paying for an item can be charged with a shoplifting or retail theft in South Walton.
Theft offenses are also commonly known as larceny, shoplifting, petit theft, grand theft and petty theft, and a conviction can result in serious consequences. Since theft crimes are often known as crimes or dishonesty or moral turpitude, they can result in an inability to pursue certain professions or education opportunities. Additionally, a conviction can result in a jail or prison sentence, fines, civil penalties and/or a criminal record.
If you have been charged with a theft offense in Destin, it is important to know you do not have to face a conviction for the offense. The state prosecutor must prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high burden and any doubt in the mind of the judge or jury can result in a dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. Therefore, it is essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you create your best legal defense.
Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a consultation about your alleged theft crime throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola and Panama City.
The attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are experienced defending theft crimes and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today at if you have been charged with a theft offense throughout Destin and South Walton.
Some of the most commonly prosecuted theft offenses throughout South Walton includes:
Sections 775.082, 775.083 and 775.084 of the Florida Statutes provide the general penalties and punishments for theft crime conviction in the Florida panhandle. These penalties can vary depending on the type of offense, the degree of offense, the value of the property, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense, and whether the alleged offender has any previous convictions. The basic statutory penalties are as follows:
Criminal charges for committing a theft offense throughout the Florida panhandle can also result in a civil penalty under Fla. Stat. § 772.11. Anyone who is an alleged victim of theft and proves through clear and convincing evidence they were a victim of a theft crime, retail theft or shoplifting is permitted to pursue civil penalties against the alleged offender. A civil penalty generally involves monetary restitution or repayment for the property taken.
Most commonly, store owners or merchants will pursue this form of remedy, in addition to criminal penalties, by sending a demand letter to the alleged shoplifter to pay for the items allegedly taken. If the alleged shoplifter does not pay the amount within 30 days, the store can then sue the alleged offender for the penalty. Most stores and companies will send the demand letter, but not actually pursue a lawsuit if the alleged offender does not pay the amount of the penalty. Civil lawsuits are very time-consuming and costly, and not worth it for the amount of money the store, retailer or merchant receive for the civil penalty.
It is important to first consult with an attorney if you have been charged with a criminal shoplifting offense and have received a demand letter seeking payment for the items allegedly stolen. However, if you have received a civil demand letter or have been accused of theft or shoplifting charges, it is imperative to contact an experienced South Walton theft lawyer who will advise you based on the facts of your particular situation.
Florida Statutes Online – This link is to Chapter 812 of the Florida Statutes, which defines many theft offenses, including petit theft, grand theft, retail theft, shoplifting, robbery, and carjacking, in addition to the penalties an individual can face if convicted.
Florida Shoplifting and Petty Theft Course – The Florida Safety Council, a statewide non-profit organization that promotes safety, provides this shoplifting and petty theft course, which may be court-ordered for individuals charged with theft offenses. The purpose of the course is to provide a means for alleged offenders to examine their behavior, attitude, and actions, and to identify steps necessary to make positive changes.
NASP – Shoplifting Course – The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention is a national organization that seeks to prevent the recurrence of shoplifting and also creates new initiatives and programs aimed at reducing shoplifting occurrences. This link is to the organization’s shoplifting class, which is called the Shoplifters Alternative Course and may be ordered by the court as a term to punishment.
If you have been accused of a theft offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Bay County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County and Escambia County, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today. Our firm fights to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is an aggressive DeFuniak Springs criminal defense attorney who will make every to fight the allegations against you and help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your theft charges today.