The theft crimes lawyers in Punta Gorda, Florida at O’Halloran & Foley can assist you if you are facing charges of theft. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony theft charge, the consequences of a conviction can be immense. You could face time in jail, fines, restitution fees, and other collateral consequences. The theft attorneys at O’Halloran & Foley in Punta Gorda, Florida work closely with individuals facing these types of charges. We can review the evidence the state has gathered, help you understand your options including trial or plea deals, and assist you every step of the way.
Theft Crimes typically include unlawfully taking possession of property with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of possession. Many theft crimes result in probation, community service, or fines. Making restitution (paying the person back) for what was stolen, to make a victim whole, can go a long way in minimizing the impact on a person charged. However, some misdemeanors can result in jail time, and certain felonies can carry serious prison sentences. Even long into the future, theft crimes can continue to appear on your criminal record, and they may impact your future employment and licensing decisions.
If you are facing charges of theft, O’Halloran & Foley, theft crimes lawyers in Punta Gorda, Florida may be able to help. There may be possible defenses we can use to defend you in trial, or we may be able to negotiate with prosecutors for a reduced sentence or jail time. Contact the theft crimes attorneys at O’Halloran & Foley today.
Under Florida law, the most common theft crimes are:
Under Florida Statutes Section 812.015(1)(d), retail theft includes taking possession of or carrying away merchandise, money, negotiable documents, or other property; altering or removing a price tag or label or transferring merchandise from one container to another. According to Florida Statutes Section 812.014, retail theft can be considered either petit theft or grand theft depending on the value of the stolen merchandise. If the stolen property is valued at less than $100, the offense is considered to be petit theft, and it is a second-degree misdemeanor. If the stolen property is valued at more than $100 but less than $750, the offense is still petit theft, but it is now punishable as a first-degree misdemeanor. If the property is valued at $750 or more, the offense becomes grand theft, and it is a third-degree felony.
Under Florida Statutes Section 812.019, if a person traffics (moves) or endeavors to traffic in property that he or she knows or should know was stolen can be charged with a dealing offense. This offense is a second-degree felony, and it is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Any person who organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages, initiates, or supervises property theft and subsequently traffics in the stolen property is guilty of a first-degree felony. This offense is punishable by up to 30 years.
Under Florida Statutes Section 812.014, grand theft occurs when a person knowingly and unlawfully obtains someone else’s property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the victim of the property, take the property to use as his or her own, or take the property for the use of anyone else who is not entitled to it. Grand theft is considered a specific intent crime. This means that for a person to be found guilty of grand theft, it is not enough for him to have taken another person’s property. It must also be shown that the person did so with the aim of depriving the owner of the property, or of taking the property for his own or someone else’s use. If the value of the stolen property is $100,000 or more, the offense is classified as a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years and $10,000. If the value of the stolen property is more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, the offense is classified as a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years and $10,000. If the value of the stolen property is more than $750 but less than $20,000, the offense is classified as a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years and $5,000.
A person commits burglary by entering another person’s property without authorization and with the intent to commit a crime—commonly theft—inside the property. In the state of Florida, burglary is charged as a felony, and it can carry severe penalties including prison, probation, and large fines. Punishment varies, however, depending on the type of burglary committed. For example, burglary of an empty structure or conveyance is classified as a third-degree felony. Burglary of a structure or conveyance with another person inside and burglary of a dwelling, whether empty or not, are second-degree felonies, and they can be punished by up to 15 years in prison. If the offender commits an assault or battery or becomes armed inside the property, the burglary becomes punishable by life in prison.
The State of Florida takes theft crimes seriously. Even if you are charged with a minor theft crime, it is important to contact an experienced defense attorney right away. The prosecutor assigned to your case is not there to resolve your situation amicably. The truth of the matter is that the Assistant State Attorney wants a conviction. Contact O’Halloran and Foley of Charlotte County to give yourself the best chance in defending against a theft crime charge. We will always provide you with an initial consultation free of charge.
There may be a range of theft defenses available if you have been charged with theft in Punta Gorda, Florida. In order to convict you of theft, the prosecutor may need to be able to show that you had intent to steal property. This burden of proof can have implications in a range of circumstances. For example, if you were at a self-checkout scanner and forgot to scan an item in your cart, and are accused of theft, you may be able to show that you had no intent to steal property. A theft lawyer in Punta Gorda, Florida may be able to help you build a case.
In other cases, something that may appear as intent to steal may not have in fact been intent at all. There are many mitigating circumstances that can impact how other people view a person or how other people interpret suspicious behavior. Racial bias and bias in general can also play a role. If you bring your own bags to the grocery store, for example, put items in those bags, but had every intent to pay, this could be falsely be construed as intent to steal. Racial bias on the part of police or store clerks could also impact their assumptions. There are other situations where theft defenses can play a role. For example, if you were loaned a friend’s car, or given permission to house sit, and then are later accused of theft or burglary, you may be able to mount a defense. Another situation is one where you make have mistaken someone else’s property for your own. Imagine a party where there are many handbags or shoes that look alike at the doorway. Another situation might be one where someone gave or loaned you property, and then wanted the property back, you may be able to make a case that you had no intent to steal property.
If you’ve been charged with theft, you may have many questions and concerns. O’Halloran & Foley is a theft crimes law firm in Punta Gorda, Florida that may be able to help you. Contact our theft crimes attorneys today.