Finding Your Way Through a Theft Arrest
Finding yourself in jail or prison for theft can be an eye-opening moment. Theft is a serious crime, one that can change your life forever if you are convicted. In Florida, stealing something as small as an iPad or as inconsequential as a fire extinguisher may result in a charge of felony grand theft. Knowing what you may be facing and finding the right attorney can help you find your way through a theft arrest.
Misdemeanor or Felony Theft Charges
Theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in Florida, depending on what is stolen. In most cases, individuals who are charged with stealing items valued under $300 are charged with misdemeanor petit theft. There are varying degrees of petit theft, with theft of items under $ $100 usually resulting in a second-degree misdemeanor charge and those stealing items over $100 but under $300 charged with first-degree misdemeanor petit theft. Even though a misdemeanor, petit theft is still serious, with hefty fines, up to 60 days or a year in jail and a scar on your permanent record.
When the stolen item is worth more than $300, which is not difficult to accomplish, especially if the items include jewelry or electronics, the crime is considered a felony grand theft. For items that are valued over $300 up to $20,000, the accused person may face a third-degree grand theft felony, punishable by up to five years in jail. For theft of goods valued over $20,000 but less than $100,000, convicted persons will face a second-degree grand theft felony on their record with up to 15 years in prison. For theft of goods valued at $100,000 or more it may result in a first degree felony conviction punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Determining whether theft is a misdemeanor or a felony is not always about the value of the item taken. The theft of specific items is deemed a felony in Florida regardless of value. According to Florida Statute 812.014, fire extinguishers, firearms, stop signs, a will, and large quantities of citrus fruit can be charged as felonies, even though their value may not be very high.
Defend Your Future
A theft charge is not one you want to fight on your own or with a court-appointed attorney. It is important to have an experienced criminal lawyer who can carefully evaluate your case and look for strategic options to prove your innocence, have the charges dismissed, or get the charges reduced.
Our team at Tison Law Group understands how detrimental a theft conviction can be to your life. Let our team help you through a theft arrest and the legal proceedings that follow. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case and let our experienced legal team fight for your future.