Getting accused of theft can not only damage your personal and professional reputation, but it can also mean fines, imprisonment, and restitution. Florida punishes defendants convicted of theft harshly, but penalties are even stiffer for theft cases tried in federal court.
If you have been arrested for theft, you probably have dozens of questions. How will my case impact my life and my future? How does the criminal court process work and what can I expect? Feeling worried and overwhelmed in a challenging situation like this is understandable, but be aware that you have certain rights you can and should exercise, the first of which is discussing your case with theft lawyers in Sarasota before answering any questions.
Call Goldman Wetzel to speak to a theft attorney: 941-405-5193. Our aggressive defense attorney duo can use any number of defenses and strategies that may benefit your case. If you put us on the case early enough, we may even be able to help you avoid formal charges altogether or at least secure a plea deal for lesser charges.
What Types of Theft Cases Does Goldman Wetzel Accept?
Our attorneys have vast legal backgrounds in both criminal defense and prosecution. We represent clients in both state and federal courts, and our theft cases run the gamut from theft to Medicare fraud schemes. Below are a few examples:
- Credit card fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Petit and grand theft
- Mortgage fraud
- Identify theft
Will A Federal or State Court Try My Case?
Jurisdiction of your case is important because the federal cases are typically more challenging to defend, and the penalties are stiffer. Many theft cases qualify in either court and in some situations, defendants can be accused of violating both state and federal laws and therefore may face prosecution in both courts.
That being said, the federal government usually only pursues cases that involve federal departments (e.g., Medicaid fraud, mail fraud, tax evasion, etc.), interstate cases, large-scale schemes, and internet fraud.
For questions about how the Department of Justice will handle your case, contact our office and request a free consult with a defense attorney.
What Penalties Do I Face for Theft Charges?
The potential penalties you face for fraud and theft depend on various factors, including jurisdiction, the nature of the charges, the dollar amount of property in question, and your past criminal record. Here are just a few examples of penalties for different offenses:
- Grand theft: If the stolen property is worth $100,000 or more, the state considers the offense grand theft in the first degree, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, per Florida Statute § 812.014.
- Forgery: If the theft involves forging a public record such as a will or deed, then the state deems it a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine, per Florida Statute § 831.01.
- Petit theft: Even when the property is worth less than $300, the state can still charge you with petit theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you have a two or more theft charges on your record, the state will escalate the petit theft charges to a third-degree felony.
How Can the Goldman Wetzel Defense Attorneys Help?
At our defense firm, we do not pass judgment on our clients. Rather, our focus is on educating you about your options, protecting your rights, creating a strong defense strategy, and taking whatever steps necessary to obtain the best resolution possible.
Unlike other law firms, our attorneys work together on every case we accept, providing double the legal aptitude and manpower.
Our phenomenal consumer and peer ratings, such as those on AVVO and Martindale-Hubbell, testify to the caliber of our services. We will work closely with you each step of the way, getting your feedback and sharing any updates with you as the case evolves. Attorneys Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel will serve as your true legal advocates, explaining things in a no-nonsense, but caring manner and providing you with a sturdy defense.
Fraud cases are often very cut-and-dry. The prosecutor does not waste time in bringing charges or stockpiling evidence, and numbers do not lie. When you work with us, we can explore numerous plausible defenses, such as insufficient evidence, lack of intent, consent, and overestimation of goods. And depending on what the state has accused you of, we might be able to convince the state to go easy on you if you are a first-time offender.
To protect your best interests, secure a defense attorney as soon as possible to begin working on your case. Call Goldman Wetzel to speak to a lawyer today: 941-405-5193.
What Does the Process Entail for Theft in Sarasota?
After an arrest for theft, you can expect law enforcement to book you at the local jail where you will await your first appearance for the judge to decide bond.
Next, usually within a month or two (depending on how full the court’s docket is), the clerk will schedule your arraignment where you formally enter your plea.
Then, both your Goldman Wetzel lawyers and the state will gather evidence, participate in discovery, and prepare for trial. Of course, in the interim, we will look into other strategies that might close your case sooner, such as dropped charges or a plea bargain.
Our process at Goldman Wetzel is straightforward:
We discuss your case with you confidentially, listen to your side, and review evidence. During the initial call, we will also explain our fees and how to retain us.
After analyzing your case, we will explain your defense options, suggest how to proceed, and explain what you can expect during the process.
Once you and your attorneys have decided on a plan of action, we will not waste any time getting started. We will launch the plan and keep you abreast of the status.
Arrested for Theft? Call our Defense Lawyers in Sarasota.
At Goldman Wetzel, you can expect impeccable defense services and a highly qualified staff with your best interests in mind. If you have been arrested for theft or fraud, get the counsel and defense you need to fight your case and protect your future.
Call 941-405-5193 for a free consultation with our theft team in Sarasota.