At Tison Law Group, we represent individuals accused of all manner of theft crimes in Florida, including shoplifting, petit theft and grand theft. Theft offenses can be charged as misdemeanor or felony offenses, subjecting a convicted offender to steep fines and jail time or lengthy prison sentences. In addition, convicted offenders can be made to return stolen property or make restitution to the property owner, and may be civilly liable in damages to the property owner as well. We help individuals charged with all of the following offenses, among others:
- Petit Theft
- Felony Grand Theft
- Uttering a Forged Instrument
- Check Kiting
Is Theft a Misdemeanor or a Felony under Florida Law?
In most cases, the value of the property stolen determines whether the offense is charged as a felony or misdemeanor and in what degree. Generally speaking, property valued at $300 or more amounts to felony grand theft, but a theft involving property as low as $100 can be a felony in certain instances. Also, stealing certain types of property is a felony, regardless of its value. For instance, stealing a fire extinguisher is felony grand theft. Conviction of a felony offense can result in a prison sentence of a year or more and can lead to the loss of civil rights and privileges and make it difficult to get or keep a job or professional license. Even shoplifting can be charged as a felony, depending upon the value of the property involved. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you avoid prosecution, get your record expunged, or bring about some other favorable outcome.
- Value of property is less than $100 – Second degree petit theft – Punishable by up to $500 and 60 days in Jail;
- Value of property is $100 or more but less than $300 (or if the value is $100 or less and the person has been convicted of any theft in the past) -First degree petit theft – Punishable by up to $1,000 and one year in Jail;
- Value of property is $300 or more but less than $10,000 – Third degree grand theft – Punishable by up to $5,000 and five years in prison; and
- Value of property is $100,000 or more – First degree grand theft – Punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and 30 years in prison.
Defend Your Rights and Protect Your Future with an Experienced Tampa Theft Lawyer
There are often many defenses available to shoplifting or theft crimes, such as whether the person had the intent to steal. Also, the prosecution must prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury. There may also be lesser offenses than the one charged that will result in a lesser penalty if convicted. A skilled, knowledgeable and aggressive lawyer can help you get the best result possible if you are arrested for a theft crime. Contact Tison Law Group for a free consultation with experienced lawyers.