Facing grand theft charges in St. Petersburg can be scary. Grand theft is a felony in Florida and has exceptionally stiff penalties attached to it. Sometimes, defendants face theft charges because of simple mistakes. It can be because of a confusion of ownership, a situation of duress, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Work on your defense with Goldman Wetzel by calling us at 727-828-3900.
What kinds of penalties may I face for grand theft in Florida?
Florida law defines grand theft as the intentional and unlawful taking of property that is valued at $300.00 or more. [Fla. Stat. §812.014] Convictions can mean jail time, fines, paying restitution, probation, and a permanent criminal record, not to mention the fact that it can affect your family life, career, and personal reputation.
The specific penalties defendants may face depend upon the value and type of property stolen.
Third-degree grand theft [Fla. Stat. §812.014(2)(c)] – If the property is valued between $300 and less than $20,000, it is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and $5,000 in fines.
This also applies if the object stolen was a:
- Motor vehicle
- Stop sign
- Fire extinguisher
- Any controlled substance, among others
Second-degree grand theft [Fla. Stat. § 812.014(2)(b)] – If the property is valued between $20,000 and less than $100,000, it is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.
This also applies if the object(s) stolen was less than $50,000 of cargo in interstate or intrastate commerce. The defendant may also face second-degree felony charges if he allegedly stole more than $300 worth of emergency medical or law enforcement equipment.
First-degree grand theft [Fla. Stat. § 812.014(2)(a)] – If the property is valued at $100,000 or more, it is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.
This also applies if the object(s) stolen was:
- A semitrailer deployed by law enforcement
- Cargo in interstate or interstate commerce worth $50,000 or more
- If you used a motor vehicle as a weapon
- If you caused damage to real or personal property in excess of $1,000
There are several things that can elevate your charges, such as if you steal property during a state of emergency or if use a deadly weapon during the theft.
What are some possible defenses to grand theft charges?
Several viable defenses may be useful if facing grand theft charges.
- You believed in good faith that you owned or co-owned the property.
- You believed you had permission or right to use or dispose of the property.
- You acted out of necessity or out of duress.
When you work with our theft attorneys at Goldman Wetzel, we will review your case and craft a defense to your grand theft charges. We will represent you at and help prepare for your hearings, and explain what to expect at each stage of the criminal justice process.
So if you are facing grand theft charges in St. Petersburg, contact us today at 727-828-3900 to get started on your case.