What is Theft?
In Florida, a theft occurs when someone knowingly temporarily or permanently deprives another person of their property or to use the property for their own or another persons use. The range and degree of charges depends on the value of the amount taken and the events surrounding the theft or items taken. If an individual allegedly stole $100,000.00 or more then the charge would be a First Degree Felony punishable by up to 30 years in Florida State Prison. Thefts of more then $20,000.00 are Second Degree Felonies that are punishable up to 15 years in prison. Thefts of $300.00 or more face a maximum punishment of 5 years in prison.
F.S. 812.014 Theft.—
(1) A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:
(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.
GRAND THEFT STATUTE HAS MANY APPLICATIONS
Some Examples in Florida Statute in Cases of Theft Are:
(2)(a)1. If the property stolen is valued at $100,000 or more or is a semitrailer that was deployed by a law enforcement officer; or
2. If the property stolen is cargo valued at $50,000 or more that has entered the stream of interstate or intrastate commerce from the shipper’s loading platform to the consignee’s receiving dock; or
3. If the offender commits any grand theft and:
a. In the course of committing the offense the offender uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely as a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense and thereby damages the real property of another; or
b. In the course of committing the offense the offender causes damage to the real or personal property of another in excess of $1,000,
the offender commits grand theft in the first degree, punishable as a felony of the first degree, as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b)1. If the property stolen is valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000;
(c) It is grand theft of the third degree and a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property stolen is:
1. Valued at $300 or more, but less than $5,000.
2. Valued at $5,000 or more, but less than $10,000.
3. Valued at $10,000 or more, but less than $20,000.
5. A firearm.
6. A motor vehicle, except as provided in paragraph (a).
11. Any stop sign.
13. Any amount of a controlled substance as defined in s. 893.02.
(d) It is grand theft of the third degree and a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property stolen is valued at $100 or more, but less than $300, and is taken from a dwelling as defined in s. 810.011(2) or from the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling pursuant to s. 810.09(1).
THERE ARE MANY DEFENSES TO GRAND THEFT
Being convicted of grand theft is very serious as it is a crime of dishonesty. A conviction can haunt you and follow you for your entire life; it can effect your employment opportunities or any professional license you have have already acquired. All elements to the charge of Grand Theft must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. If one or more of the elements cannot be proven, that is a defense to the crime. The crime of Grand Theft requires the prosecutor to prove intent; so lack of intent is a defense. If a person believes the property is actually theirs, then there is no intent to commit Grand Theft. If there are reasonable doubts that can be presented as to the value of the property allegedly stolen, then the value may be less then the statutory level to be classified as a Grand Theft. In such cases a misdemeanor charge may be called for which is less serious then Grand Theft, a Felony. An aggressive, skilled and experienced Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer like Kenneth Padowitz can be critical in resolving a Grand Theft charge.
South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with Grand Theft, or believe you may be charged in the future, you need a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney; contact Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. to discuss this important matter. Broward criminal lawyer, Kenneth Padowitz, aggressively defends all Grand Theft cases for clients throughout the region, and all of Broward County and South Florida, including: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Davie, Tamarac, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Parkland, and Weston. Kenneth Padowitz provides a strategic criminal defense to those accused of Grand Theft.