Clearwater Theft Crime Attorney
Theft can be divided into varying degrees of seriousness, as well as the types of circumstances in which the theft occurred. For example, shoplifting property worth $50 is a much less severe offense than robbing an individual of $50 or breaking and entering and taking $50 worth of property. Our Clearwater theft crime attorneys are skilled in successfully negotiating reduced sentences for our clients based on the circumstances of the charges.
Types of Theft
Theft charges are broken down in the following categories:
- Larceny is defined as taking another’s property without the use of force or intimidation. Pick pocketing is considered larceny, as is stealing a bicycle from a bike rack;
- Burglary is defined as breaking and entering a property illegally. No theft needs to take place for burglary to occur, though usually theft is the purpose; and
- Robbery is defined as taking another’s property with use of force or intimidation. Strong arm robbery uses no weapon, while armed robbery is the use of a deadly weapon to aide in the robbery.
Generally, burglary and robbery are more serious offenses because they put the life of another at risk. However, grand theft of the first degree, regardless of whether it was stolen via strong arm or larceny, is a first degree felony with a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison. There are two categories of theft: petit theft and grand theft, with a total of five subcategories, all varying on the worth of the property illegally obtained, according to Florida statutes 812.014:
- Petit theft, in Florida, is theft of property that is worth less than $300 (petit theft of the second degree is property taken that is worth less than $100, while petit theft of the first degree is property taken that is between $100 and just under $300); and
- Grand theft, in Florida, is theft of property that is worth $300 or greater. The degrees of grand theft are as follows: property taken that is worth $300 or more but less than $20,000 is grand theft of the third degree, property taken that is worth $20,000 or more but less than $100,000 is grand theft of the second degree, and property taken that is worth over $100,000 is grand theft of the first degree.
There are other stipulations that go along with certain types of theft. For example, carjacking carries its own set of penalties. Carjacking, defined in Florida statutes 812.133, is “the taking of a motor vehicle which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.” Carjacking, no matter the worth of the vehicle, is a first degree felony, and if a deadly weapon was used, the punishments are even more severe (up to life in prison), versus a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Clearwater Theft & Burglary Attorneys
Theft Offenses in Florida can have many negative consequences beyond the criminal penalties. If you are convicted of a theft, it could limit your employment opportunities down the road after you resolve the original charge. Under Florida Law, theft offenses are considered crimes of “moral turpitude” or those “involving dishonesty or untruthfulness.” Additionally, theft can be an enhanced charge. That is, for each subsequent theft conviction, the penalties can be increased. Let the Clearwater theft attorneys assist you during this difficult time.
Thefts that involve less than $300 worth of money, goods, or services are classified as misdemeanors in Florida. A theft of $100 or less worth of money, goods, or services is considered a second degree misdemeanor which can carry up to 60 days jail or 6 months probation. A theft of more than $100 but less than $300 worth of money, goods, or services is considered a first degree misdemeanor and can carry up to 364 days jail or up to one year probation.
Thefts that involve $300 or more worth of money, goods, or services are considered to be felonies in Florida. With the increasing dollar amount of the theft, the greater degree of felony and the greater degree of possible punishment.
Any type of burglary is considered a felony in the State of Florida. Burglary is generally a breaking/entering or remaining inside some sort of building, dwelling, vehicle, or other structure with the intent to commit an offense. The potential sentence for burglary ranges from 5 years to life in prison depending on the crime committed once inside.
Robbery is also considered a felony in Florida. Robbery is the taking of property through force or the threat of force that places the victim in fear. The potential sentences vary based upon the type and amount of force used.
Types of Theft:
- Grand Theft Motor Vehicle
- Dealing in Stolen Property
- False Information on a Pawnbroker Form
- Firearm Theft
- Organized Fraud
- Retail Theft
- Possession of Burglary Tools
Call the Clearwater theft attorneys today to assist you with your theft case
If you have been charged with a theft crime, call 877-767-1032 today to discuss your options with one of our experienced Clearwater theft crime defense attorneys at the Clearwater law offices of Roman & Roman. We can help you throughout each step of your case.