When at the mall, we are surrounded by all kinds of temptations. Fashionable clothes, expensive sunglasses and jewelry, and delicious chocolates are just a few of them. The urge can be all too powerful to resist buying something. Sometimes the desire to have these items is coupled with an equally strong urge to not pay for them. Some people may think, “Maybe I can just slip this in my bag and walk out. It’s just one item. No one will know.” As soon as you approach the exit, however, you may find yourself surrounded by men in uniform, asking you to follow them back into the store. You have just been discovered shoplifting.
Many shops, particularly large superstores, electronics stores, and department stores take theft very seriously. They hire loss prevention officers and lawyers to deal with this very specific and prevalent problem. Security cameras, electronic detectors, and security tags are all used to help deter theft. Many of the thieves who are caught are inexperienced first-time thieves who decided to steal on a whim.
In Florida, shoplifting under $300 is classified as a misdemeanor. If convicted, you may be required to pay a fine of up to $1000 and serve up to one year in jail. For most people, however, the worst part of being convicted is having a criminal record. A criminal record can severely hinder your professional, educational, and financial opportunities throughout life and can disqualify you from certain colleges, scholarships, loan programs, and other opportunities.
If you have been arrested for stealing from a shopping mall, consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer immediately to help you through the legal process. A criminal defense attorney can advise you on what would be the best course of legal action to take and will fight to protect your rights in a court of law.