Florida Statues define theft as when a person knowingly and unlawfully takes the property of another with the intention of either permanently or temporarily depriving the victim of that property. All theft charges in Florida tend to be serious, and you should not take them lightly. A court will take a number of factors into account when considering the severity of the charges against you, and it is important to understand whether the charges you face constitute a felony or a misdemeanor.
Theft of handbags in the street.
Regardless of the nature of the charges, if police arrest you for theft, it may be beneficial to contact a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney for advice. At Leader & Leader P.A., we handle a wide range of criminal cases that involve DUI, theft and drug possession.
Criminal Defense Attorney Michael D. Leader has received the highest possible ratings/recognition from the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register
for his ability in the courtroom and ethics as a lawyer His firm has over has nearly eight decades of combined legal experience. Do not take your criminal charges lightly. Contact Michael D. Leader today at 954-523-2020 to schedule an appointment. We will examine your situation and provide guidance on how to proceed.
Read on for more information regarding theft charges in Florida:
Theft Classifications in Florida
According to Online Sunshine, theft offenses can either be misdemeanors or felonies in the state of Florida. Generally, the determination of the charge will be based upon the value or nature of the item that the perpetrator is alleged to have taken, used or otherwise deprived the owner of.
A theft involving more than $300 will generally be charged as a felony, and anything less than that usually stays as a misdemeanor. The Office of the State Attorney has some discretion how to charge the offense.
A quick rundown under Florida law is as follows: A first offense petite theft for something of worth $100.00 or less is generally a 2nd degree misdemeanor punishable by 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine. A second petit theft under $100.00 or for a theft up to $300.00, it is generally a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and a fine of $1000.00. There are specific circumstances surrounding the theft allegations that can cause cases that would ordinarily be a misdemeanor to become a felony. Anything over $300.00 is generally deemed a felony and can range from a third degree felony punishable up to 5 years in prison and a $5000.00 fine. Property worth $20,000.00 to $100,000.00 will generally be charged as a 2nd degree felony punishable up to 15 years in prison and $10,000.00 fine. Other items of $300.00 or more such as emergency medical or law enforcement equipment can be classified as a 2nd degree felony. An alleged theft over $100,000.00 is generally a first degree felony punishable up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.00.
Additionally, anyone convicted of petit theft in Florida may be subject to a driver license suspension. A first suspension cannot be more than 6 months. Furthermore, a person who commits theft also faces civil liability three times the amount of the monetary damages to the victim or $200.00, whichever is greater as well as recovery of the victim’s attorney fees.
Florida Theft Penalties
If you are facing theft charges, you will likely be facing potentially harsh penalties. Possible penalties include fines, license suspension and even jail time. If your crime is serious enough to become classified as a felony, you could also become a convicted felon, which may have an impact on the rest of your life and will cause you to lose certain civil rights.
Grand theft penalties range from five years in prison and a $5,000 fine to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, depending on the severity of the case. If you are facing Florida theft charges, do not take them lightly. Even if you think the charges are not serious, you could be facing severe penalties and a criminal record.
At Leader & Leader P.A., we have extensive criminal law experience and are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Call Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Michael D. Leader today at 954-523-2020 to schedule an appointment.