Tampa Theft Lawyer

In Florida, there are numerous crimes that can be classified as larceny of theft. In broad definition, a larceny offense is the illegal act of taking or attempting to steal someone’s personal property. Being accused of larceny could result in criminal charges, a conviction and a civil suit to pay restitution for the stolen assets. As a result, you should have a Tampa theft lawyer on your side.

The severity of a theft conviction varies depending upon the value of the lost assets as well as other factors. Nevertheless, these crimes can result in large fines, imprisonment, restitution, and some other sanctions. No matter how small the crime seems to be, a larceny offense should not be taken lightly since it can negatively impact your life. Therefore, you should reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Theft Crime: Florida Definition & Penalties

According to the Florida Statute § 812.014, a person commits theft when he or she took or attempted to take another person’s property with the intent to:

  • Deprive the other person from wielding rights or benefiting from their property
  • Use the property for the defendant’s use or for the use of anyone that is not the legal owner of the property

In very broad terms, theft consists of stealing or illegally taking a person’s property. However, in these types of offenses, the defendant’s intention is very important. In other words, to be convicted for a larceny offense in Florida, the prosecutor needs to prove that the defendant actually had the intention to steal the item.

Under the previous definition, there are different types of crimes that can be considered theft. Some examples of these offenses include petit theft, grand theft, robbery, fraud, identity theft, burglary, and fraud. A Tampa attorney can help defense any of these charges.

Theft Penalties in Florida

Given that not all larceny crimes are the same, in Florida, the severity of a theft charge depends on the type of property, its value, the defendant’s past convictions and the use of force. So, based on these factors, theft can range from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.

This means that the penalties range from 60 days to 30 years imprisonment. As for the fines, a petty theft could result in a second-degree misdemeanor which carries a $500 fine while a first-degree felony grand theft could result in a $10,000 fine.

Below is a summary of the charges related to certain theft amounts. Be aware that there are other factors that could increase your penalties.

A theft accusation can have detrimental results for you or your loved one. For that reason, you need a skilled criminal attorney that will fight to protect your record. The  theft lawyers at Goldman Wetzel have experience representing clients facing charges for larceny in Tampa.

Penalties for Theft Crimes in Florida

Stealing Prescription Drugs

According to the Florida Statute § 812.014, the theft of a controlled substance carries a third-degree felony charge which is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000. Nevertheless, this crime could also be treated as a drug offense resulting in different penalties.

Is Grand Theft a Felony?

In Florida, grand theft offenses are charged as felonies. Lesser charges start at third-degree felony and, depending on the severity of the crime, they can escalate to a first-degree felony. Like other theft crimes, the charges of a grand theft mostly depend on the type of item and the value stolen.

What is the Sentence for Petit Theft?

Petit or “petty” thefts in Florida are classified as misdemeanors. However, if a person has more than two previous convictions, the charges can escalate to a third-degree felony. If the property stolen is valued at $100 but less than $750, the offense is a misdemeanor in the first degree.

When Is Theft a Federal Offense?

If a theft crime meets certain criteria, it could be prosecuted as a federal crime rather than a Florida offense.  Some of the factors that might make the U.S. government consider taking a case include:

  • There is interstate involvement
  • There is a criminal organization involved
  • The victim is a government agency, such as Social Security or Medicaid
  • Federal punishments are more fitting than those allowed under Florida law
  • The crime involves tax evasion, mail fraud, money laundering, or RICO offenses

Overall, federal charges can result in more severe penalties than state crime. As a result, theft attorneys in Tampa might try to intervene early in the process so they can convince the prosecutor to keep your case in the state.

Contact Our Tampa Attorneys About Theft Charges

A theft accusation can harm your criminal record and if you are convicted, you could face severe penalties that can include imprisonment and fines. Since your future is at stake, you might want to consider retaining a criminal defense attorney.

If you or your loved one is facing larceny charges in Florida, speak to attorneys from Goldman Wetzel. Call today to schedule a free no-obligation consultation with our Tampa theft lawyers.