Theft Crime Attorney Miami, FL
Florida Theft Crime Charges
If you have been accused of any type of theft crime in Florida, you need to secure legal counsel as soon as possible. This is necessary in order to avoid the many penalties which may come with a theft crime conviction in Florida. Here at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. our team of Miami theft crime lawyers have specific experience in defending clients charged with theft crimes in Florida, and we use this to provide high quality legal counsel at every stage of our clients' cases.
Contact us today to speak with our Miami theft crime attorneys in a free consultation!
Types of Theft Crimes in Florida
In the state of Florida, theft crime charges are typically categorized as petty theft or grand theft. Petty theft in Florida is one of the most common theft crimes committed, it is a "crime of dishonesty" that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
Grand Theft involves taking property or goods valued over $300, and this crime can be charged as a first degree felony if certain factors are present.
Other common theft crimes include:
- Accepting or selling stolen property
- Import-Export Crimes
- Money Laundering
Our Miami theft crime attorneys have also been successful in defending a broad range of theft-related offenses that are not as commonly discussed. Call us now!
Theft Penalties in Miami, Florida
A theft crime may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the particular case. Imprisonment terms for a Florida theft crime may range from up to 12 months in county jail all the way to up to 30 years in state prison. The value of the property involved as well as the defendant's prior record are two factors which will greatly influence the seriousness of charges and penalties that a defendant may face.
Do not delay in consulting a Miami theft defense attorney at our firm. You may be able to qualify for a diversion program which may ultimately mean that you can avoid a criminal conviction and therefore a criminal record.
Petit Theft Charges in Florida
Often called “petty theft” by mistake, petit theft is a type of criminal offense that occurs when a person takes another person's property without consent and with the intention of never returning the property to the rightful owner. In the state of Florida, petit theft is the name given to lower-level simple theft offenses, such as shoplifting, robbery, or burglary. Petit theft involves the theft of money or property valued at less than $300.
Petit theft is usually considered a misdemeanor offense and involves the theft of a small sum of money. The person's criminal charges and legal penalties will also depend upon if the person carried a weapon during the theft, the type of theft crime committed, how many previous theft-related charges has in his past and the person's criminal history.
Petit Theft Degrees in Florida
There are two different degrees of petit theft, which are defined based on the value of the property stolen during the crime.
- First-degree petit theft: In Florida, petit theft in the first degree is when the value of the property stolen exceeds $100 but is less than $300. These are still considered misdemeanor offenses.
- Penalties: up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Second-degree petit theft: In Florida, petit theft in the second degree is charged when the property stolen is valued at $100 or less. This crime is considered a misdemeanor.
- Penalties: up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
However, if you have ever been convicted of two previous theft offenses, you could be charged with a third-degree felony. Even if both offenses were for property less than $10, any two convictions could cause a third charge to be escalated to this more serious level.
Can Petit Theft Charges Be Dropped in Florida?
Petit theft charges in Florida are taken very seriously by law enforcement officials. In some cases, petit theft charges may be dropped or reduced if the accused individual has a clean record and the amount stolen is minor. However, due to the complex nature of the justice system, it's important to consult with an experienced Miami theft crime attorney who can explain your legal rights and examine all pertinent evidence. If a petit theft charge cannot be dropped or reduced, there could still be alternate avenues for justice such as community service or probation which can help reduce harsh consequences of having a petit theft conviction on one's criminal record.
Representation for Petit Theft Florida
Criminal accusations of theft crimes are extremely serious and should not be taken lightly. If you have recently been charged with something of this nature, it is absolutely vital that you do not waste any time in securing the legal assistance that you deserve from an experienced Miami petit theft lawyer. By working with our legal team at Hager & Schwartz, P.A., you can be confident that we will do everything in our power to help you reach your desirable result, no matter the individual circumstances of your case. No matter how daunting it may appear, we will dig in our heels and fight to protect your rights in your Florida theft crime case.
Grand theft is the formal name for theft crimes that can essentially be dubbed “felony theft.” These are actions which result in significant financial losses, and as a result carry much heavier penalties.
- Grand Theft in the Third Degree, the lightest charge, can be penalized by up to five years in a state prison and a fine of up to $5,000 as a third-degree felony charge. The overwhelming majority of theft crime charges fall into this category, as they contain all theft valued at more than $300, but less than $20,000.
- Grand Theft in the Second Degree, as you might expect, is a second degree felony where the property stolen is valued at more than $20,000, but less than $100,000, so also a broad range. These charges can carry up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Grand Theft in the First Degree is the grand-daddy of them all, being charged as a first-degree felony and carrying up to 30 years in prison in the state of Florida. The maximum fine is the same as a second-degree charge, up to $10,000, but you’re far more likely to be ordered to pay closer to the maximum as a result of first-degree charges than you would be with a second degree crime.
Accepting or Selling Stolen Property
If you know property has been stolen, whether it’s money or any other type, it’s against the law to receive it. Whether you accept it without remuneration, take control over it to pass it to someone else, or wish to re-sell the property in order to profit, you are breaking the law. Florida Statutes Section 812.019 makes it a second-degree felony to traffic property that you know is stolen.
Fraud is an extremely broad category in and of itself, and if we’re being honest, we could write another blog as detailed as this one on just the many various types of fraud there are. Things like intentionally using a bad check to pay for property, knowingly using counterfeit money to pay for something, or misrepresenting yourself in an attempt to defraud someone of their property, are all considered fraud crimes and could subject those accused to lengthy prison sentences and large fines.
Burglary is a specific type of theft in which the perpetrator “surreptitiously [enters]… a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense (other than trespass) inside of the dwelling, structure, or conveyance at the time when the defendant is not licensed or invited to enter or remain…” (Florida State Statute Section 810.02). In other words, entering someone’s home with the intent of stealing something is considered burglary. However, unlike the other theft crimes we’ve mentioned here, this could still be charged, even if you don’t take anything; merely proving intent is enough to warrant a conviction.
Robbery is the act of using force or the threat of force to commit a theft crime. In other words, threatening someone with violence or through coercion in order to force them to hand over their valuables. However, in many cases this intimidation or threat is performed with the aid of a weapon, such as a gun, knife, or blunt instrument. In these instances, the weapon is known as an “aggravating factor,” which means you could face even harsher penalties because of it.
Contact a Miami Theft Crime Lawyer Today!
Contacting a Miami theft crime attorney at our firm is a wise choice in order to find out exactly what you are up against in regards to your theft crime charges. Theft crimes carry a negative stigma, and a conviction can bring about a permanent disadvantage for those who are looking to obtain certain types of employment, professional licenses and even acceptance into college. Here at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. our Miami theft crime defense lawyers understand the importance of fighting theft charges and the impact that an arrest and conviction can have on your future.
We offer an immediate case evaluation to discuss your case and how you can effectively fight your charges. Our firm represents clients throughout all of Miami-Dade County and Broward County, Florida, so call today!
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