Theft crimes carry serious penalties, especially if they involve property of any substantial value. Any crime involving dishonesty or breach of trust has the potential to make finding a job, attending college, and securing housing more difficult. A Pompano Beach theft lawyer could fight back against the charges against you. A skilled criminal defense attorney could help document evidence and work to discredit the Prosecution’s accusations. At Leifert & Leifert, our sharp legal team could represent you to the police, advise on steps to take, and help defend you in court.
Definitions of Theft in Pompano Beach
Many people understand stealing. However, a Pompano Beach theft lawyer could help explain the unique charge of criminal theft. Understanding charges is often essential to developing an effective defense strategy.
Florida Statutes § 812.014 defines theft as occurring when someone intentionally takes or uses property belonging to others. For an alleged action to constitute theft, the person must have the intent to deprive the owners of the property or appropriate the property for their own use or the use of another.
Different Crimes and Penalties in Pompano Beach
The penalties for theft vary widely based on the value and nature of the property, and in some cases, the means used to commit the theft. Theft crimes are classified as grand theft, which are Felony offenses, or petit theft, which are Misdemeanor offenses.
The theft statute lists various types of property that constitute either first degree, second degree, or third-degree theft. First degree is the most serious theft charge. However, all grand theft offenses are felonies.
First-degree grand theft includes the following actions, among others:
- Theft of property valued at $100,000 or more
- Theft of cargo worth $50,000 or more that has entered into intrastate or interstate commerce
- Theft committed by using a motor vehicle that causes damage to the real property of another
- Theft that causes damages to real or personal property in excess of $1,000
Theft involving property valued at between $20,000 and $100,000, cargo valued at less than $50,000 that has entered intrastate or interstate commerce, or emergency medical or law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more is considered second-degree grand theft. Third-degree theft involves property worth between $300 and $20,000, firearms, motor vehicles, and property worth between $100 and $300 taken directly the dwelling or yard of another person, among other items of property.
As provided in Fla. Stat. § 775.082, grand theft in the first degree may result in a maximum 30-year prison sentence, while second-degree grand theft may result in up to 15 years in prison. Convictions for both first and second-degree grand theft may carry a payment of fines up to $10,000. Third-degree theft can result in a five-year prison sentence and a maximum $5,000 fine. The penalties for grand theft are severe, which is why it is advised for Defendants to seek an experienced Attorney.
Petit theft offenses deal with property generally valued at less than $300. Petit theft in the first degree, for example, involves property valued between $100 and $300. The potential penalty for a first-degree petit theft offense includes up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Second-degree petit theft deals with any other property that is not categorized as grand theft or first-degree petit theft. A conviction for second-degree petit theft may result in up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Fight Back Against Charges with the Help of a Pompano Beach Theft Attorney
A grand theft conviction can result in a long prison sentence, thousands of dollars in fines, and a criminal record that could follow you into the future. Even a misdemeanor conviction may send a negative message to prospective employers. However, a Pompano Beach theft lawyer at Leifert & Leifert may help mitigate these consequences.
Focusing on your future means safeguarding your reputation in your community. Allow one of our experienced attorneys to defend against the charges you face. Call to schedule an initial consultation to learn more.