Theft is a crime involving property. You can be charged with theft if you shoplifted, embezzled, wrote a bad check, stole a car, or stole money. If you are convicted, you will have a criminal record, and the conviction may stop you from being able to get a job, a home, or a professional license. People who are convicted of theft must be fingerprinted in court. If you have a prior theft conviction, your sentence may be increased for subsequent convictions. If you are being investigated for theft, you should retain a skillful attorney. Clearwater theft lawyer Will Hanlon fights for the accused.Common Types of Theft
Theft charges can be pursued under Florida Statute section 812.014. The prosecutor will need to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you: (1) knowingly (2) got, used, or tried to get or use (3) another party's property, (4) with the intention of permanently or temporarily (5) keeping the victim from benefiting from the property, or appropriating it to your own use.
Theft comes in many different forms and degrees. You can face theft charges for misappropriating funds or other items. For example, you can be charged with theft if you embezzled. When a significant amount of money has been embezzled, you may face grand theft charges and be sentenced to years in prison, even if you have no priors. The two basic categories for a theft charge are petty theft and grand theft.
If the goods that you stole were worth less than $300, you can be charged with petty theft. This can involve shoplifting. For example, if you took a tube of lipstick from the corner drugstore, you might be charged with petty theft. If what you took is valued at less than $100, you can be charged with second-degree petty theft. A conviction for second-degree petty theft can result in 60 days in county jail and a $500 fine. If the property taken is valued at $100-$300, the theft will be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, for which you can face up to 12 months in jail and at most $1,000 in fines. The penalties for these may be enhanced if you have prior convictions, so you should consult a theft attorney in Clearwater about your specific situation. You can face harsher penalties if a firearm, gang activity, or force accompanied the theft.
Prior convictions can result in more serious charges. For example, people with two prior theft convictions may face felony petty theft charges. That means that they might face up to 5 years’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. If the value of the goods or services that were stolen is more than $300, a third-degree felony of retail theft may be charged.
Grand theft has three degrees. The least serious form of grand theft is grand theft in the third degree, which is charged if property is worth $300-$20,000. However, you should still consult a Clearwater theft attorney if you are facing this charge because the penalties can be significant. If certain items are stolen, such as motor vehicles, firearms, codicils, wills, commercially farmed animals, bee colonies, aquaculture species raised at a certified aquaculture facility, fire extinguishers, more than 2,000 pieces of citrus fruit, anhydrous ammonia, some construction signs, or stop signs, you may also face third-degree grand theft charges. This can result in up to 5 years’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
If the value of what you have stolen is $20,000-$100,000, you can be charged with a second-degree felony and face up to 30 years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. You can be charged with grand theft in the first degree if the property that you have taken is worth at least $100,000. This is a first-degree felony, for which you can face up to 30 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.Hire a Theft Lawyer in Clearwater to Protect Your Rights
If you are charged with theft or a related offense like burglary, you may face harsh consequences. It is crucial to retain a Clearwater criminal attorney who can fight for your rights. Our firm's founder, Will Hanlon, has fought for people accused of crimes since 1994. You can call us at 727-897-5413 or contact us via our online form.