Theft is a serious crime that involves many different property crimes, including larceny, embezzlement, stealing, conversion, and more. Generally, theft crimes involve taking or using someone else's property without permission. If you are accused of petty theft or grand theft in St. Petersburg, you should consult an experienced attorney. At Hanlon Law, St. Petersburg theft crime lawyer Will Hanlon guards the rights of people accused of theft.Facing Prosecution for a Theft Crime
Common theft crimes include grand theft, petty theft, shoplifting, embezzlement, grand theft auto, carjacking, burglary, armed robbery, robbery, identity theft, computer theft, and various types of fraud.
Generally, a prosecutor needs to show that the defendant had a specific intent to use or take property belonging to someone else to secure a conviction for a theft crime. They must show an intention to temporarily or permanently deprive a property owner of the use or possession of a piece of property at the time when the property was taken or at the time of the attempt to take property. You commit theft if you knowingly get or use the property of another party with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive someone of the right or benefits of the property, or if you appropriate it to your own use or the use of someone else not entitled to use it.
In Florida, petty theft and grand theft are primarily distinguished by the value of the property taken. Grand theft is further divided into degrees. All of them are very serious charges, so you should retain a theft crime attorney in St. Petersburg if you may be in this position. First-degree grand theft involves stolen property worth $100,000 or more. If you are convicted of first-degree grand theft, you may face up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Second-degree grand theft involves stolen property worth $20,000-$99,000. If you are convicted of second-degree grand theft, you can face up to 15 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Third-degree grand theft involves stolen property worth $300-$19,999 or certain other items, such as a commercially farmed animal or a firearm. If you are convicted of third-degree grand theft, you may face up to five years’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
Petty theft has only two degrees. First-degree petty theft involves stolen property that is worth $100-$300. If you are convicted of first-degree petty theft, you may face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Second-degree petty theft involves property that is worth $99.99 or less. You can face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
If what is stolen is any amount of certain controlled substances set forth in section 893.02, separate judgments and sentences for the theft of the controlled substance and any charge brought for possessing or trafficking in the substance can be imposed if all of the offenses involve the same amounts of the controlled substance. You should consult a St. Petersburg theft crime attorney who can craft a strategy to fight all of the charges simultaneously.
Certain theft crimes are charged under separate statutes. For example, carjacking is a type of theft crime, but it is charged under Florida Statute section 812.133. It involves the intentional and illegal taking of another party's motor vehicle by using force, violence, threat, or assault. The potential penalties that you face will be greater if you used a firearm.
You should not assume that a conviction is assured. The prosecution needs to prove all of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, it is possible to cast doubt on the value of the property to reduce the charges by degree. In other cases, it may be possible to show that you had a good-faith belief that you owned the property or had a right to possess it. In still other cases, it may be possible to show that you reasonably believed that you had been given consent by the property owner.Hire a Theft Crime Lawyer in St. Petersburg or Surrounding Cities
Theft is a crime that can involve harsh punishments, depending on the value of the goods or property taken. It can make a big difference to your case to be represented by an experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney. Will Hanlon is committed to defending the rights of the accused. He has represented defendants since 1994 and is well versed in the potential strategies at their disposal. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or complete our online form.