Theft Related Offenses
In Florida,a person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the property of another with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
Theft cases can be felonies or misdemeanors depending on the amount taken.
- Grand Theft of the third degree. Means that the value of the property taken was over $300. but less than $20,000.This is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
- Grand Theft of the second degree. Means that the value of the property taken was between $20,000 and $100,000. This is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
- Grand theft of the first degree. Means that the value of the property taken was over $100,000. This is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
- Theft from a construction site. This is also a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
- Dealing in Stolen property. Any person who traffics in or endeavors to traffic in property that he or she SHOULD HAVE KNOWN was stolen commits this crime which happens to be a 2nd degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The value of the property which is at stake here is meaningless.
- Exploitation of the Elderly. If a person defrauds someone over the age of 65, the person is almost always charged with this crime, which is a felony. The degree of the felony will depend of the amount taken.
- Fraud or Organized scheme to defraud. The fraud based crimes are always felonies as well. They range from writing a series of checks to your typical fraud type crimes.
- Felony theft by prior arrest. If the person already has 2 prior thefts of any kind on his his or her record, the third arrest is a 3rd degree felony.
These are usually broken down into:
- Retail theft. Theft from a store where the value in under $300.
- Petit Theft. Pretty much any other type of theft where the value is under $300.
Like in every case, the goal is always to keep the person from being convicted. In misdemeanor cases, there are often diversion programs which allow this to happen. Even in felony cases, there are the same programs. Most of the time in the theft cases, the main issue is restitution. If the defendant is able to fully or at least partially compensate the victim, they are in much better shape. This process often takes time and we can help with that.
It is especially important to keep theft cases off a persons record if possible because most employers will not hire people with theft crimes on their record.
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