Theft charges can have serious consequences for an individual, and that person’s record could come into play as well as the identity of the person’s judge. Some judges are more lenient than others and that is just the nature of the legal system. Attorneys have to be cognizant of the judge, what they are looking for, and how they tend to view certain cases and certain fact patterns. If a person wants to know more about Ft. Lauderdale felony theft charges, they should speak with a qualified felony theft lawyer that could fight for them.
Consequences of Felony Theft Charges
Consequences of Ft. Lauderdale felony theft charges are certainly much more significant than those associated with a misdemeanor, though both need to be treated very carefully. In a felony case, an individual can go to state prison. This usually does not happen for first-time offenses unless it is a grand theft case that involves a significant sum of money that is not paid back. If somebody is charged with first-degree grand theft of money, property, or anything of value over $100,000, even with a first offense, if they are not in a position to pay back that money, judges are more likely to impose a period of incarceration.
The chances of a significant sentence or a sentence that will involve incarceration would be high. However, in the felony cases in which the amount is lower, the hope is that the defendant would have the ability to make restitution if they have not done so already. The big thing to look out for in felony cases is the conviction because a felony conviction is certainly a lot more serious than a misdemeanor conviction. When an individual faces the possibility of a felony conviction, that comes with a lot of stigma attached to it and it really impedes a lot of job opportunities.
Length of Incarceration
The potential period of incarceration for Ft. Lauderdale felony theft charges would also mirror the potential period of supervision or probation. In those misdemeanor cases, although a judge is able to impose a period of probation, it does not happen often. It is more likely to happen on a felony case because it is a more serious offense with higher dollar amounts and judges want to watch an individual for a particular length of time to make sure that that individual is behaving, staying out of trouble, and deserving of the lenient sentence that is imposed. A felony grand theft case in Ft. Lauderdale or Florida carries with it a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison.
However, the judge can put an individual on probation or up to five years on a third-degree grand theft case. On a second-degree grand theft case, since the maximum period of time for a potential prison sentence is 15 years, the maximum probation period will also be 15 years. For a first-degree grand theft, which is a first-degree felony, the maximum length of probation or the maximum length of supervision would be up to 30 years.
Community Control or House Arrest
With Ft. Lauderdale felony theft charges and many of those offenses, attorneys would look at potential house arrest, which is also known as community control. The maximum period of community control would be two years. On any felony, the judge could consider a county jail sentence up to 364 days or just shy of a year per count. The more counts a person has, the more exposure he or she has. For example, if somebody faces three counts for three charges of grand theft in one case, they can receive a potential penalty for each count.
The consequences are a function of the offense, the amount of money that is involved, the type of merchandise or items that are alleged to have been taken, and whether or not the restitution has been made or can be made over a period of supervision. If an individual wants to know more about felony theft charges and potential consequences for felony theft, they should consult a skilled theft attorney that could answer their questions and fight for them.