A permanent criminal record can impact you both professionally and personally in a number of ways, especially if that record notes a conviction for some form of theft. Working with a Lake Worth theft Lawyer from Leifert & Leifert may enable you to build a strong defense to any such charges you may be facing. One of our skilled criminal defense attorneys could help you explore your options for defending your best interests and work with you to pursue a positive resolution to your case.
Theft Offenses in Lake Worth
According to Florida Statutes §812.014, the legal definition of theft entails an individual intentionally taking or making use of property that belongs to others. This individual also must have the intent to deprive the property owners of use or possession of the property or to take the property for their own use or that of a third party who has no right to it. All individuals accused of theft may wish to get the advice of a Lake Worth theft lawyer prior to attempting to handle these serious charges on their own.
Theft may qualify as petit or grand theft—and therefore be charged as a Misdemeanor or Felony—depending on the value of the stolen property or services. A theft charge is generally a Misdemeanor offense if it involves property valued at less than $300, and a Felony offense if it involves property valued at more than $300.
Additionally, there are certain factors that may automatically elevate a theft offense to a felony. For example, theft of a firearm, no matter its value, is always a felony offense. Likewise, if you have committed two or more previous petit theft offenses, the third or subsequent offense would automatically become a Felony charge.
Criminal Penalties for Theft
Theft offenses are further subdivided into multiple subclasses of Misdemeanor and Felony offenses. The general delineations for types of theft are as follows:
- Second-degree petit theft – a second-degree Misdemeanor offense involving theft of property worth less than $100
- First-degree petit theft – a first-degree Misdemeanor offense involving theft of property worth less than $300, but more than $100
- Third-degree grand theft – a third-degree Felony offense involving theft of property worth less than $20,000, but more than $300
- Second-degree grand theft – a second-degree Felony offense involving theft of property worth less than $100,000, but more than $20,000
- First-degree grand theft – a first-degree Felony offense involving theft of property worth more than $100,000
There are exceptions to these guidelines for certain items of stolen property that result in charges on different levels of offenses. For example, the theft of a fire extinguisher is always a third-degree felony regardless of its value.
For very low-level theft offenses in Lake Worth, the penalty for petit theft of the second degree can be up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. On the higher end of the spectrum of potential punishments, however, a conviction for grand theft in the first degree can result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years, as well as a $10,000 fine. Given these potentially harsh repercussions, contacting a theft lawyer in Lake Worth may be highly beneficial if you are facing any level of theft charges.
Allow a Lake Worth Theft Attorney to Help
Theft offenses can have severe repercussions for you on both a personal and professional level. Even a Misdemeanor conviction can create a permanent criminal record that may impact your ability to find a job, pursue certain careers, and further your education. Working with a Lake Worth theft lawyer may allow you to more effectively fight back against theft charges.
Do not allow accusations of theft to derail your future. By obtaining legal representation when you need it most, you may be able to resolve the charges against you with a minimum of negative impact on your life. Call Leifert & Leifert today to get started on your case.