Theft is considered a crime of dishonesty or untruthfulness in Florida regardless of whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor. Consequently, being convicted of a theft offense can have far-reaching consequences on your freedom, reputation, and ability to earn a living.
If you have been accused of committing a theft crime in Boynton Beach or its surrounding areas, the time to act is now by consulting with a Boynton Beach theft lawyer. Having an experienced attorney by your side throughout the trial process will help improve your chances of obtaining a positive outcome in your case.
Florida Theft Laws
The crime of theft is defined in Florida Statutes Section 812.014 as knowingly and unlawfully obtaining or using or attempting to obtain or use another person’s property with intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive the rightful owner of their property or any benefit thereof or appropriate the property to their own use or to another individual who is not entitled to such use. There are many different types of theft offenses and related crimes involving the unlawful possession or appropriation of stolen property.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Petit theft
- Grand theft
- Retail theft
- Employee theft
- Theft of communication services
- Dealing in stolen property
- Motor vehicle theft and carjacking
- Credit card theft
- Identity theft
- Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult
- Worthless checks
How Theft Offenses are Classified in Florida
In Florida, theft charges are of varying degrees depending on the value or type of property taken. The penalties for a theft offense become more severe as the value of the stolen property increases. The two most commonly charged theft offenses are petit theft and grand theft. To convict someone of petit theft or grand theft, the state must prove the elements of theft listed above and the value or type of property taken as described in Section 812.014.
Petit theft is punishable as a misdemeanor offense and is applicable if the stolen property is worth less than $300. The two categories of petit theft are petit theft in the first-degree, which an individual is only charged with if the stolen property is valued at more than $100, but less than $300. Petit theft in the second-degree entails an individual stealing property that is valued at less than $100 and is a first offense. A skilled Boynton Beach theft lawyer can work hard to mitigate the severity of the penalties that a person may face.
Grand theft is classified as a felony offense and involves stolen property that is valued at more than $300. Below are the three categories of grand theft:
- First Degree– Stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more, or the person has a prior theft conviction or is shipping cargo valued at more than $50,000
- Second Degree – Stolen property is valued at more than $20,000, but less than $100,000, or is shipping cargo valued at less than $50,000, or emergency medical equipment valued at more than $300
- Third Degree – Stolen property is valued at more than $300, but less than $20,000, or is a testamentary instrument (e.g. will, codicil), firearm, motor vehicle, or commercially farmed animal
Contacting a Boynton Beach Theft Attorney
Boynton Beach theft lawyers have a wealth of experience defending individuals against serious theft charges and are ready to begin assisting you today. A skilled Boynton Beach theft lawyer will understand how overwhelming a criminal charge can be and is prepared to provide you with the legal support and guidance you need during such a difficult time in your life.