In the State of Florida, theft crimes usually vary in severity based on the amount of money and/or property stolen as well as whether any force or violence was used in the commission of the crime.
If the value of the money and/or property stolen was less than $300.00, the crime is usually charged as a misdemeanor. This also includes the crime of Obtaining Property with a Worthless Check (“OPWC”). Otherwise known as a “bounced check”, this is a first degree misdemeanor if the check is for under $300.00.
However if the value of the money, the bounced check and/or property that was taken is in excess of $300.00, the crime will usually be charged as a felony Grand Theft. The theft of certain items, such as a firearm, a motor vehicle, a will or codicil, a fire extinguisher or a stop sign, will automatically result in a felony irrespective of the value of the property.
In addition to the value and type of item that was stolen, your prior history of theft-related offenses is important. For instance, if you have two prior Petit Theft convictions (they could be for stealing a pack of gum and a Big Gulp), your third Petit Theft charge will be a Felony Petit Theft based on those two prior convictions.
Many people don’t realize that the Judge can even suspend your driver’s license upon being convicted of petit theft. Therefore, you will need an experienced criminal trial attorney to handle your theft-related arrest.
Blake & Dorsten, P.A. has experience handling all types of theft-related cases. In addition to the charges mentioned above, several other theft-related offenses are now felonies in the State of Florida.
If you’ve been charged with a felony such as Burglary, Grand Theft, Dealing in Stolen Property, Embezzlement, Failure to Redeliver Leased Property or Identity Theft, you may be facing severe consequences such as: imprisonment, county jail time, large fines and/or an extended period of probation in which you may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim.
Theft and theft-related charges are also known as “crimes involving dishonesty or untruthfulness”. A theft or theft-related conviction will affect your future credibility. Potential employers or landlords will find theft arrests and convictions under most standard background checks. A simple search engine look of your name may reveal felony or theft-related convictions.
If you are facing any of the above theft-related charges, it is imperative that you have an experienced and qualified criminal trial attorney by your side. The numerous life-changing consequences of a theft conviction call for immediate action.
As criminal defense lawyers, Blake & Dorsten, P.A. can help you with a theft charge in many ways. We can evaluate your case for possible defenses or motions that may help resolve your case favorably. Oftentimes we can speak with the State Attorney and convince them to file a lesser charge or even not file at all. If the case is filed, we can still negotiate with the State for a lesser sentence. Finally, depending on the facts or circumstances of your case, we can present your case in a favorable light with ‘mitigating’ evidence directly to the judge.
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