Theft charges are already taken seriously in Florida but, certain factors can result in elevated charges. In some instances, someone who might have initially had a misdemeanor theft charge, could end up facing felony theft charges. The consequences of a felony conviction include higher fines, incarceration, and difficulty finding and maintaining, gainful employment. If you face aggravated felony theft charges in West Palm Beach, seek the legal services of an experienced theft lawyer who can fight for you.
Aggravating Factors for a Misdemeanor Theft Charge
- If an individual commits three petit thefts, three misdemeanor thefts, they already have two priors, and they pick up another misdemeanor, even if it is a $5 item, it can become a felony
- If an individual is charged with misdemeanor theft and, during the course of the investigation or prosecution, it is found that the individual has two or more prior convictions for a misdemeanor theft, it is possible that the last or latest misdemeanor theft charge can be aggravated to a felony based upon their prior record
- Another way that theft can be elevated or aggravated to a felony charge is if it is discovered that the value of the property that was taken was not what the police say it was but was actually more, especially if it was more than $300
- If in the course of being prosecuted for a misdemeanor, and in the prosecutor’s investigation of the case or in an interview with further witnesses it is discovered that there was further theft involved, an individual can face felony charges
- If it is a situation where a person is initially charged with a misdemeanor, but then subsequent investigation discovers that the conduct was actually much broader and much deeper than what was initially considered , the charge would then be filed to aggravated to a felony based upon further investigation for further theft
An attorney’s first step when building a defense against penalties for felony theft charges in West Palm Beach, typically involves going to the potential client and getting their account of events. The next step would be to see what the police and law enforcement have as far as evidence.The attorney should also try to get ahold of the police reports and the witness statements to see what other people are saying to then present the potential client with valid defenses.
If there are no valid defenses or no good defenses, then what a lawyer does is talk to the client about what they have as far as mitigating circumstances, to explain the situation. The lawyer might ask if the person had permission to take whatever object, or whether there was a misunderstanding, or even if there was no misunderstanding or permission, if the defendant can pay it back.
Another one of the other first steps a lawyer should take is to find out what the facts and circumstances are about the case. Evidence can be gathered through reports, statements, and any digital or forensic evidence there may be. Following the collection of evidence, an attorney can then explain it to the accused, tell the accused what the available defenses are, and ask them what they have to say , in the veil of confidentiality.
Under this veil, no one can discuss what is being said between the lawyer and their client, which means that the accused can discuss the aggravated felony theft charges in West Palm Beach that they face, and how they feel about the charges.
While an attorney’s approach may change based on whether the accused admits they are guilty or not guilty, a lawyer will still be tasked with the same role of investigating the case, finding out all the facts and circumstances by reading all the reports and all the statements, gathering any digital or forensic evidence, thoroughly examining it, and then presenting the claim. After doing all of this, the lawyer can start discussing legal options with the accused.
Contacting a Lawyer
Facing aggravated felony theft charges in West Palm Beach can be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. By working with an adept attorney well-versed in local theft law, you can bolster your chances at a positive outcome. A local lawyer will be able to use their connections, their time, and their resources, to ensure that you get a fair trial. Contact a West Palm Beach legal advocate today, and know that you are in capable hands.