Theft offenses are some of the most common criminal charges faced by defendants in Florida. Theft charges can range in seriousness from very minor criminal charges with little or no penalty, to first degree felonies carrying lengthy prison terms. Most often, the seriousness of the offense is determined by the amount of money involved. A person convicted of a petit theft for shoplifting a candy bar from a convenience store might receive a small fine or even the option to enter a diversion program. A defendant convicted of embezzling several hundred thousand dollars on the other hand, might be looking at first degree grand theft charges involving serious prison time. Anyone charged with a criminal theft offense should not hesitate to consult with a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer as quickly as possible.
Theft in Florida is prohibited under Florida Statute 812.014. To prove a theft offense, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant knowingly obtains or uses the property of another with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of the property. Under the law, different values of stolen property will result in different level offenses. If the property stolen is valued at $750 or less, the defendant can be convicted of a misdemeanor. If the property is between $750 and and $20,000 the offense is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years of imprisonment. IF the value of the stolen property is between $20,000 and $100,000, the offense is punishable for up to fifteen years in prison as a second degree felony. And for offenses of over $100,000, a first degree felony can be charged, carrying a potential maximum sentence of $30 years.Employee Theft
Theft by an employee, under Florida Statute 509.162 is a special qualifier for theft offenses, and not really a criminal offense that stands on its own. Instead, the employee theft statute specially punishes employees who steal from their employers more seriously regardless of the amount stolen. Under the terms of the statute, the theft of any property belonging to a guest of the property or the owner of the property, committed by an employee of the owner of the property is a third degree felony. This Statute exists to provide additional punishment and deterrence to employees who are entrusted by their employers with access to their establishment. Being charged with a felony theft offense can have many repercussions. If you or a loved one has been charged with theft by an employee, you should not wait to retain a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer to build your defense.
Employees of establishments and businesses often have wide latitude and access to the businesses for which they work. Employees are responsible for opening and closing the business, for watching over merchandise and guest property, and for handling exchanges of money between customers and the business. This access gives employees extraordinary opportunities to commit crime as well. Employees have easy access to take merchandise without paying, to steal guests’ items and to take money right from the register. Because of this special access, employee theft is treated more seriously than typical theft cases. Anyone charged with such a crime should not hesitate to immediately contact a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer for representation.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have the skills and experience necessary to achieve the best possible results on your case. Don’t leave anything to chance, instead call an experienced lawyer to help build a defense to the charges you are facing. We take pride in the results we achieve for our clients, and look forward to achieving those results for you. Call today for a consultation at 727.289.0222.