Theft and Shoplifting in Orlando: Petit Theft/Grand Theft Charges and Potential Consequences


If you were arrested for theft or shoplifting, having an attorney on your side could make all the difference.  Theft charges are considered crimes of dishonesty and in addition to the obvious problems that a criminal case can create, this type of charge can lead to issues outside of court that you may never have even considered. That’s why it is so important to have an attorney on your side to review your defenses and to help protect you from the consequences both in and out of court.

In Florida, there are multiple ways that someone may be charged with a shoplifting or theft offense.  All retail theft or “shoplifting” is theft, but not all the thefts we see are shoplifting.  That said, there are several levels of theft.  The most common theft charges are Petit Theft (M2 and M1) and Grand Theft (F3). The difference between these thefts is the value of goods.

Chart of Most Common Shoplifting Charges:

Type of chargeValue of Property                   Maximum Penalty

Petit Theft (M2)   Less than $100                   60 days Jail, 6 months Probation, $500 fine

Petit Theft (M1)  $100 but less than $300      1 year in Jail, 1 year Probation, $1000 fine

Grand Theft (F3) $300 but less than $3000    5 years in Prison, 5 years Probation, $5000 fine

Once the police have made an arrest or otherwise completed their investigation, they send their case packet to the State Attorney’s Office, where a final charging decision is made.  The State Attorney’s Office is obligated to review the file and decide whether to file charges or not.  Once charges are filed, the State Attorney’s Office will send “discovery” to the Defense Attorney for their review.  Often times in shoplifting cases, there may be surveillance video from the store, so it is imperative that we have a chance to review the video to see what, if anything, the video shows regarding the theft.


After reviewing discovery and tackling any preliminary issues, there are a few routes a shoplifting case can take and an attorney can help guide you to make the best decision for you given the circumstances.  If you have never been arrested, you may qualify for a diversion program, which allows a first time offender to earn a dismissal of the charge.  This program is intended for first time offenders and is a good way to resolve a case as it puts you in position to have your record cleared through a process known as expungement.  We have helped countless clients in getting their cases dismissed and later expunged.  If diversion is not an option or if you choose to not do diversion, then the ultimate decision becomes whether to accept a plea or take the case to trial.  The attorneys at the Ladan Law Firm are experienced trial attorneys and will talk you through your options and likelihood of success if you chose to take the case to trial.


Another issue for you to be aware of is the driver’s license implication.   If you are adjudged guilty (also known as convicted) by the Judge, your driver’s license will be suspended for up to 6 months on a first conviction and for a full year if you have previously had your license suspended for theft.  It is important to discuss this collateral issue with your lawyer in advance of trial or a plea.

These are just a handful of potential issues one would potentially face regarding a shoplifting/theft charge.  Contact us today to fully review your case.

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Orlando Office

The Ladan Law Firm, P.A.
121 S Orange Ave #1420
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-487-2522
Fax: 407-657-1526

Kissimmee Office

The Ladan Law Firm, P.A.
808 West Mabbette Street Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-796-9563

Longwood Office

The Ladan Law Firm, P.A.
1220 Commerce Park Dr., #207
Longwood, FL 32779
Phone: 407-796-9179

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