Theft is a broad category of criminal offenses that can carry different levels of penalties depending on the severity of the case. From a minor shoplifting incident to a large-scale identity theft crime, it is important for anyone charged with theft to take the charges seriously and consult an experienced Ft Lauderdale theft lawyer. Skilled theft attorneys are extremely important in any type of theft case, in which they can help build a strong defense to ensure the best outcome possible. If you have been charged with a theft crime, no matter the severity, protect your rights by contacting a Ft Lauderdale defense attorney today.
Benefits of an Attorney
Experienced theft lawyers understand what is at stake in theft cases, which ensures that they take every step necessary to build an aggressive defense. Our Ft Lauderdale theft attorneys have experience in a wide variety of theft cases, including, but not limited to:
- Simple theft (larceny)
- Shoplifting (retail theft)
- Petit Theft
- Grand Theft
- Identity theft
Even in cases of petty theft, which are considered misdemeanors, the penalties for a conviction can add up significantly. For example, a second-degree misdemeanor theft conviction can result in up to 60 days in jail and fines of up to $500. The capped level of jail time and fine amount only increases from there as the severity of the crime worsens, typically depending on the value of the property stolen.
There are also extrajudicial and societal penalties that a person may incur from having a theft charge on their record. It may be more difficult for that person to obtain or keep current employment, take out loans, attend an institution of higher education, and more, making it important that a Ft Lauderdale theft lawyer is contacted.
Most of the theft laws in the State of Florida are covered under Florida Statute § 812.014, which defines what constitutes theft and the monetary increments at which the levels of theft are organized. In its most basic form, theft is defined as an action in which a person “knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another” with the intent to deprive. Theft charges can also increase depending on the type, not just monetary value, of the property stolen.
For example, there are a variety of different ways a person can commit a third-degree felony theft crime, which is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison – this includes stealing a firearm or a fire extinguisher, regardless of the item’s worth.
Simple theft, which includes smaller charges such as shoplifting or theft of services, is typically considered either a second-degree misdemeanor, though subsequent simple theft charges can become first-degree misdemeanors, thereby increasing the penalties.
In the case of subsequent theft charges, it is important to seek the help of an experienced theft lawyer who understands the higher penalties that may be at stake for second-time offenders.
Get Help from a Ft Lauderdale Theft Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with a theft crime in Fort Lauderdale, do not hesitate to contact an experienced theft attorney as soon as possible.
It is important to start building a viable defense right away to work towards the best outcome in your case, and with the help of a skilled Ft Lauderdale theft lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.