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Central Florida Theft Defense Attorney

Florida Law establishes different degrees of theft depending on the value of the stolen property, all of them seriously prosecuted and punished. Being convicted of theft can have very serious consequences and so it is important that you contact an experienced theft defense attorney to handle your case.

Based on Florida Statutes “a person commits theft if he/she knowingly obtains or uses the property of another person with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:

  • deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property
  • appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.”

In General, theft in Florida is classified, based on the value of the stolen property, as follows:

  1. Petit Theft (also called Petty Theft)
  2. According to Florida Law Petit Theft, a misdemeanor, occurs when the value of the property involved is less than $300.
    • 1st Degree Petit Theft
      A First Degree Petit Theft occurs when the value of the stolen property is $100 or higher and less than $300. It is considered a first degree misdemeanor and carries up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
    • 2nd Degree Petit Theft
      A Second Degree Petit Theft is considered a second degree misdemeanor and occurs when the stolen property value is less than $100. It carries a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.

    If you are found guilty Petit Theft, your fingerprints will be taken in court, in the presence of the judge, and affixed to the file with a written judgment which then becomes a public record.
    It is important to know that it is sometimes possible for a theft defense lawyer to negotiate other penalties with the judge and the prosecution, especially if the accused is a first time offender.

    Some of these theft alternative penalties are:

    • Diversion program and dismissal of charges
    • Withholding of adjudication
    • Community service
    • Counseling (typically an “Impulse Control Class” )
    • Probation
    • Restitution for the amount of the stolen property if it was not recovered by the police or the merchant
    • House arrest
    • Electronic monitoring

    If your theft defense lawyer is able to negotiate a diversion program in your case and the alleged victim does not oppose it, you will be required to pay costs, do community service and attend shoplifting prevention classes.

  3. Grand Theft
    Grand Theft occurs when the value of the stolen property is higher than $300.
    • 1st Degree Grand Theft
      In a First Degree Grand Theft the stolen property value is higher than $100,000 and it is considered by Florida Law as a 1st Degree Felony. A person charged with First Degree Grand Theft may face up to 30 years in jail, up to 30 years of probation and a maximum fine of $10,000.
    • 2nd Degree Grand Theft
      Occurs when the value of the stolen property is between $20,000 and $99,999. A Second Degree Grand Theft is considered a 2nd Degree Felony by Florida Law and have a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of probation and a fine of up to $10,000.
    • 3rd Degree Grand Theft
      A Third Degree Grand Theft is considered 3rd Degree Felony under Florida Statutes and occurs when the stolen property value is $300 or higher and less than $20,000. This crime carries a penalty of up to 5 years in jail, up to 5 years of probation and a maximum fine of $5,000.

    All forms of Grand Theft are felonies, and as such are punishable using the Criminal Punishment Code sentencing guidelines. Be aware that if you are charged with a first degree grand theft, even with no prior record, you are probably “scoring” on the sentencing guidelines a sentence involving prison.

    Restitution can become a big part of the task of trying to negotiate a resolution of a grand theft case. If the victim of the alleged theft is a private citizen, the need to pay that person back can be weighed against the need to imprison someone. David Hill, Central Florida theft defense attorney, can advocate on a person’s behalf that they should be placed on probation so that the restitution can be repaid, instead of serving time in jail or prison.

Among theft crimes are:

  • Credit card theft
  • internet fraud
  • identity theft
  • Vehicle Theft
  • Shoplifting
  • Larceny
  • Employee Theft / Embezzlement
  • Dealing in Stolen Property
  • Scheme to Defraud
  • Firearm theft
  • Fraud
  • Forgery
  • Worthless Check
  • Burglary
  • Social Security Disability fraud/theft

Theft Conviction – Other consequences

Besides the previously mentioned penalties imposed by the law, a person with a criminal record of a theft conviction may face additional consequences, such as:

  • Loss of professional opportunities, which may include loss of current employment and/or future promotions and/or Loss of professional and occupational licenses
  • Loss of academic scholarships
  • Loss of trust of family and friends
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Community Service
  • Loss of business and client accounts
  • Public scrutiny
  • Possible denial of applications for Green Cards or U.S. citizenship

Contact our Criminal Defense Law Firm in Orlando, Central Florida

Theft is considered a crime of “moral turpitude” or “dishonesty” in Florida and, as such, a conviction can destroy your social life, your reputation and even your career, preventing you from working in some fields of expertise. Do not take a theft charge lightly. Call our Orlando Theft Defense Attorney David Hill today for your free initial consultation at (407) 648-0006. You may also fill out our online form or email us directly at info@orlandocriminaldefenselawyer.com. We offer a free initial consultation and we will treat your information under the strictest confidentiality.

 

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