§ 812.015(1). Retail Theft.

The crime of Retail Theft is classified as both a Misdemeanor and a Felony in the state of Florida. The classification is dependent upon the value of the items removed from the owner’s possession.

This offense occurs when a person:

The offense of Retail Theft occurs when a person:

  1. Takes merchandise or property;
  2. Alters or removes a product;
  3. Transfers merchandise into another container; or
  4. Removes a shopping cart. 

with the intent of depriving the merchant of possession, use or retail value of that item.

Defenses to Retail Theft

Some of the defenses to Retail Theft are:

  •  Lack of Intent (ex: mislabeled product or confusion over payment) [1][3]
  • Abandoned the Attempt (ex: Defendant goes into a store with the intent to steal, but decides not to do so and leaves before taking anything).   [2]
  • Defendant claims superior ownership or possession rights of the property.  [4]

There are other possible defenses which I can explore with you during our Free Initial Consultation.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney
Glenn M. Swiatek

Free Initial Consultation

If you have been arrested or believe you will soon be arrested for the offense of retail theft in Northwest Florida please call us today at (850) 609‑0940 or send this form.

Initial Office Consults are free, and I will make myself available to suit your schedule.

Get the peace of mind that an attorney with over twenty-three years of criminal law experience can bring when you are charged with retail theft.


    1. C.G. v. State, 981 So. 2d 1224 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2008).
    2. McClover v. State, 217 So. 3d 96 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2017). 
    3. Rimondi v. State, 89 So. 3d 1059 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2012).
    4. In re Standard Jury Instructions In Civil Cases-Report No. 09-01 (Reorganization of the Civil Jury Instructions), 35 So. 3d 666, 763 (Fla. 2010).