West Palm Beach Theft Crimes Lawyer
Delivering Personalized Legal Representation
Theft occurs when a person takes the property of another with the intent to deprive the owner of the item either permanently or temporarily, or with the intent to use the object themselves or allow another person to use it. In Florida, this offense is charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Regardless of the level of charge, a conviction could result in incarceration, probation, and/or fines.
The punishments for theft can have long lasting consequences, impacting various areas of your life, including relationships, finances, and employment. If you have been accused, act fast to get skilled lawyers on your side. When defending a criminal case, you must examine the facts and build a compelling strategy to tell your side of the story.
Our West Palm Beach theft crimes attorney at the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A. has the experience needed to build a strong defense.
Florida’s Theft Laws
If you're accused of taking someone's property without his or her consent, you could be charged with theft. The type and level of offense you're charged with, as well as the penalties you could be facing, depend on the value of the item. In Florida, theft is classified as grand theft or petit theft.
Florida’s Grand Theft Law
First-degree grand theft: Stealing property valued at over $100,000 is a first-degree felony. A conviction for this offense could result in a prison term of up to 30 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Second-degree grand theft: If a person steals property valued at $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, he or she could be charged with this offense. This is a second-degree felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Third-degree grand theft: Taking property valued at $750 or more but less than $20,000 is a third-degree felony. Conviction penalties include a 5-year prison term and/or a $5,000 fine.
Florida’s Petit Theft Law
First-degree grand theft: Stealing property valued at over $100,000 is a first-degree felony. A conviction for this offense could result in a prison term of up to 30 years, a probation sentence of up to 30 years, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Second-degree grand theft: If a person steals property valued at $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, he or she could be charged with this offense. This is a second-degree felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Third-degree grand theft: Taking property valued at $750 or more but less than $20,000 is a third-degree felony. Conviction penalties include a 5-year prison term, 5-year probation sentence, and/or a $5,000 fine.
Florida’s Petit Theft Law
First-degree petit theft: A person can face this charge if he or she takes property valued at $100 or more but less than $750. This is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a jail term of up to 1 year, probation for up to 1 year, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Second-degree petit theft: This offense is committed when the property stolen was valued at less than $100. The penalties for a conviction for this second-degree misdemeanor include a 60-day jail term, 6 months of probation, and/or a fine of up to $500.
A person faces more serious charges and enhanced penalties for subsequent petit theft convictions. A person who commits petit theft of any value and who has been previously convicted of any theft can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If a person has been previously convicted two or more times of any theft, he or she can be charged with a third-degree felony.
Florida’s Retail Theft/Shoplifting Law
Florida Statute § 812.015 concerns conduct considered retail theft.
According to the law, a person commits the offense when he or she knowingly:
- Takes or carries away merchandise,
- Alters a universal product code or price tag,
- Transfers merchandise between containers, or
- Removes a shopping cart
The alleged offender must have engaged in the conduct with the intent to deprive the merchant of the merchandise or item.
The conviction penalties for shoplifting/retail theft depend on various factors. If the offense involves petit theft and was committed for the first time, punishments are the same as those for petit theft. A second or subsequent conviction may result in the court imposing a fine between $50 and $1,000 or public service instead of that fine.
In some cases, shoplifting is a felony and penalized as such.
Shoplifting is a third-degree felony when the value of the property is $750 or more and the alleged offender:
- Commits multiple thefts, either individually or with others;
- Works with others to commit the offense with the intent of selling the merchandise;
- Steals property from more than one merchant;
- Works with someone else to create a diversion to commit the offense; or
- Purchases packaged merchandise, and the box contains an item other than or in addition to what’s purported to be in it.
Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years on probation, and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
Shoplifting is a second-degree felony when the alleged offender:
- Has previously been convicted of the offense,
- Steals property in which the aggregate total is more than $3,000, or
- Works with another to steal property with an aggregate total of more than $3,000 and intends to sell the items.
A second-degree felony carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years, a probation term of up to 15 years, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
What Is Petty Theft in Florida?
In Florida, petty theft is a criminal offense defined as the unlawful taking or using of someone else's property or services with a value of $750 or less, without their consent and with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of their property or services. Petty theft is typically considered a misdemeanor in Florida. However, the severity of the charge can vary based on the circumstances and prior criminal history of the offender.
It's important to note that if an individual has prior theft convictions on their record, subsequent theft offenses may be charged as a more serious offense, such as felony theft, which can lead to more severe penalties.
Additionally, Florida law allows for the possibility of civil penalties in addition to the criminal penalties for theft offenses. These civil penalties can include restitution to the victim for the value of the stolen property or services.
Keep in mind that laws and penalties can change over time, so it's essential to consult with a qualified theft attorney or refer to the most current Florida statutes if you are facing a charge or have questions about theft offenses in the state.
Aggressively Fighting Your Charge
The defense process can be complex and time-consuming. However, you don't have to handle it alone. You have the right to the assistance of counsel, and we're here to provide the legal advice and guidance you need.
At the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A., our West Palm Beach theft crime attorney has extensive experience in the criminal justice system and knows how to develop effective defenses and fight charges. A strategic defense is an absolute necessity to protect your future.
At the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A., we know that a theft charge is a serious matter and can sometimes result from a misunderstanding or false allegation. That's why we will fight aggressively on your behalf to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecutor's case against you.