Although the word theft may seem simple, the legal definition of theft can be confusing. Often, a theft offense may encompass more potential actions than one may realize. This legal landscape has serious implications for those accused of theft.
As a result, those facing charges of theft may wish to consult a knowledgeable defense attorney as soon as possible. In Florida, Palm Beach Gardens theft defense lawyers are available to review the facts of your case. A Palm Beach Gardens theft lawyer could help you determine if there are potential legal implications for you and help decide the best next course of action.
Laws Involving Theft in Palm Beach Gardens
Florida Statutes Section 812.014 defines criminal theft generally as the unauthorized use or obtaining of another person’s property. To prove these charges, the prosecution must be able to prove that the accused individual had the intent to deprive the property owner of their property.
Possible defenses for a theft offense include consent of the owner of the property or a genuine good-faith belief that the property belonged to the alleged offender. Defenses such as these are fact-specific and often depend on proving applicable state of mind.
What Are the Potential Penalties of Theft?
Potential punishments for theft generally vary by the amount of the property taken. Grand theft is punishable as a felony, while petit theft is punishable as a misdemeanor according to Section 812.014, there are several different degrees of theft:
- First-degree grand theft for property of $100,000 or more
- Second-degree grand theft for property of less than $100,000 but equal to or more than $20,000
- Third-degree grand theft for property of less than $20,000 but equal to or more than $300
- Various degrees of petit theft for property of less than $300
As there are several levels of charges, there are also several levels of potential punishments. For first-degree grand theft, the most serious allegation, a person may face up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. For second-degree grand theft, a person faces up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Third-degree grand theft is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Finally, petit theft is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. It is also important to note that if there are any aggravating factors such as the use of a firearm, the charge, and potential punishments may be elevated. Individuals should consult a Palm Beach Gardens theft lawyer that could attempt to mitigate the penalties that a person may face.
Contacting a Palm Beach Gardens Theft Attorney
Theft offenses can be both complicated and emotionally taxing. Those facing these accusations should make sure that they receive legal advice on their next course of action. Defense lawyers with experience and knowledge in dealing with theft offenses, such as our Palm Beach Gardens theft defense attorneys, are available immediately for consultation. Our attorneys can examine the facts of your case to provide specific, detailed analysis on possible outcomes. If you are facing any kind of theft charges, make sure you protect your rights by contacting a Palm Beach Gardens Theft lawyer that could advocate for you.