If you have been charged with a theft crime, the first step is to seek qualified legal representation. In fact, the best way to improve your chances of avoiding a conviction, getting theft charges reduced, or getting your theft charge dismissed is to have an experienced Plantation theft lawyer by your side from the very beginning.
An experienced criminal attorney in Plantation will work to obtain the most favorable outcome possible in every case they handle. A knowledgeable Plantation theft lawyer can craft a personalized defense strategy, provide consistent communication about developments in your case, and serve legal counsel you can rely on.
Theft Crimes in Florida
The term theft refers to a broad range of crimes involving the unlawful taking or use of another person’s property. Theft crimes are listed in Florida Statutes, Title XLVI, Chapter 812. Those include, but are not limited to the following:
No matter the type of theft, a Plantation theft attorney can build a case to combat the prosection’s allegations.
Under Florida Statute 812.014(1), a person commits theft if they:
- Knowingly obtain, uses, or attempts to obtain or use another person’s property with intent to temporarily or permanently
- Deprives the rightful owner of a right to or benefit from their property or
- Appropriate the property to the use of anyone that is not entitled to the use of such property
In order to convict someone of a theft crime, the state must prove these fundamental elements along with any other elements required for a particular offense.
How Theft Crimes Are Classified
Theft crimes in Florida are classified as either petit theft or grand theft. Petit theft is a misdemeanor offense and grand theft is a felony. Within those categories, theft charges are further distinguished by degree, depending on the value and/or type of stolen property.
It is classified as petit theft (also known as petty theft) if the stolen property is valued at less than $300. The two types of petit theft are:
- First degree – The stolen property is worth less than $300, but more than $100. Punishable by up to one year in jail and no more than a $1,000 fine. Any second offense for Petit Theft will also qualify as a first degree misdemeanor regardless of value
- Second degree – The stolen property is valued at less than $100. This is the lowest-level theft offense, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500
It is classified as grand theft if the stolen property is valued at more than $300. The three categories of grand theft are:
- First degree – The stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more. Punishable by a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine
- Second degree – The stolen property is valued at more than $20,000, but less than $100,000. Maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison and no more than a $10,000 fine
- Third degree – The stolen property is worth less than $200,000, but more than $300. Punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000
The penalties for theft crimes can be enhanced if certain circumstances apply. For example, if a person has prior theft convictions, uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality in the commission of the offense, or causes real or personal property damage in excess of $1,000. Such penalties can be argued down by an experienced Plantation theft attorney.
Contact a Plantation Theft Attorney
An experienced theft lawyer in Plantation can handle both misdemeanor and felony charges. They can immediately begin assisting you with your case by building an effective defense strategy to combat the prosecution.