Learn about the definition, common defenses, penalties and fines that people charged with Grand Theft in Florida might face.
Larceny offenses encompass a wide range of crimes such as petty theft, grand theft, robbery, and burglary. Overall, these offenses are classified based on the value of the stolen property. For example, grand theft in Florida consists of stealing property whose value exceeds $750 or $300 if the property was owned by law enforcement or emergency medical services.
Due to the severity of the offense, a grand theft crime is classified as a felony crime. This means that if a person is convicted for this offense, he or she will face fines and imprisonment sentences that range from 5 to 30 years. Additional penalties could include restitution, community work and probation.
If you have been accused of grand theft in Florida, then you need a skilled criminal attorney to make sure that you have strong legal representation in court. Goldman Wetzel has been representing clients across the Tampa Bay Area since 2009. Our theft lawyers have the necessary skills and experience to effectively represent you in court.
What Does Grand Theft Mean in Florida?
Florida Statute 812.014 defines grand theft as intentionally taking (or attempting to take) someone’s property with the intent to deprive the victim of the benefit of their property or to use that item for the offender or other’s benefit. Stealing property whose value exceeds $750 is considered grand theft in Florida.
Overall, grand theft offenses imply substantial amounts of property stolen. Nevertheless, in theft charges, the type of property and the manner in which it was stolen have an impact on the penalties and charges. For example, stealing emergency medical or law enforcement equipment valued at over $300 is considered grand theft.
So to summarize, the elements of grand theft include:
- Intention of stealing someone’s property: to either deprive the owner of benefiting from their property or for the offender’s personal use.
- Amount stolen exceeds $750 or $300 if the item was law enforcement or emergency medical equipment.
In Florida, depending upon the value and the type of property stolen, there are different levels of grand theft. In other words, based on the severity of the offense, a grand theft crime can be charged from a third-degree to a first-degree felony. Just like other theft offenses, in Florida, the statute of limitations for grand theft is 5 years.
Grand theft is a serious felony offense that could have severe consequences for your future. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. To discover your legal options, call us today to book a free consultation.
Sentences for Grand Theft in Florida
In Florida, grand theft is classified as a felony crime. This means that if a defendant is convicted, he or she can face imprisonment that ranges from 5 to 30 years and fines from $5,000 to $10,000. Depending on the case, additional penalties may be imposed.
According to Florida Statute 812.014, grand theft offenses are classified as different felonies based on the specific circumstances and factors present at the time of the offense.
Grand theft: Third-degree felony
In order for a grand theft to be considered a third-degree felony, the property stolen should be valued between $750 and $20,000. You can also face these charges if the property stolen was a:
- Stop sign
- Any amount of controlled substance
- Fire extinguisher
- Motor vehicle
- Commercially farmed animal
- Testamentary instruments (will, codicil).
A third-degree felony can result in 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Grand theft: Second-degree felony
If the value of the property stolen ranges from $20,000 to less than $100,000, a grand theft offense will be charged as a second-degree felony. These charges can result in up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000.
You can also be charged with a second-degree felony if the property stolen was:
- Property of law enforcement or emergency medical equipment valued at more than $300.
- Cargo entering interstate or intrastate commerce valued at less than $50,000.
Grand theft: First-degree felony
In Florida, a larceny grand theft is charged as a first-degree felony if the amount stolen exceeds $100,000. This charge carries a penalty of up to 30 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, you can also face these charges if:
- The property stolen was cargo entering interstate or intrastate commerce valued at more than $50,000.
- During the course of committing the offense, the defendant caused more than $1,000 in real or property damage.
Grand theft on a person 65 years or older
Florida Statute 812.0145 establishes the penalties for theft committed against persons of ages 65 years or older:
- First-degree felony: the assets or property stolen is valued at $50,000 or more.
- Second-degree felony: the value stolen ranges from $10,000 and less than $50,000.
- Third-degree felony: the assets or property involved in the theft were valued at $300 but less than $10,000.
In addition to these penalties, if convicted, the defendant will also need to make restitution and perform community service. The punishments for a grand theft in Florida are quite harsh, as a result, you might want to retain the services of a skilled theft lawyer.
Defenses for Grand Theft in Florida
When it comes to representing clients facing theft charges, there are different strategies that the Goldman Wetzel attorneys can pursue. Some of the most common defenses that we use include:
- Lack of intent
- Mistake in ownership
- The defendant acted out of necessity or duress
- Inflated value
- Obtaining or using the property for lawful purposes
Determining the best legal strategy for a theft charge depends on each case and the evidence that your criminal defense attorney can gather to support your claim.
Speak to a Theft Lawyer Today
Being accused of grand theft can be a very stressing and overwhelming experience since these charges can result in severe consequences. As a result, you might want to retain the services of a skilled and knowledgeable theft lawyer that can start working on your case right away.
Goldman Wetzel represents clients facing criminal charges in Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, Manatee County, the Tampa Bay Area, Hillsborough County, and surrounding areas. If you are accused of grand theft, send us a message or call us at 727-828-3900 to schedule a free consultation.