Theft charges in Florida take on many forms, including robbery, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. In 2020, law enforcement investigated more than 395,000 of these crimes in Florida. That was nearly 1,100 misdemeanor and felony thefts committed every single day.
If you have been charged with a theft crime, you may be facing penalties including fines and incarceration. A theft conviction will follow you for the rest of your life, affecting personal relationships, employment, and your freedom.
Whether or not you committed the crime does not matter. You are entitled to the best criminal defense available to mitigate charges and penalties or to have the charges dismissed.
For more than 30 years, attorney David Lee Sellers has provided aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense for clients in Pensacola, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, and Milton, Florida, accused of committing theft. David and his team are dedicated to fighting for their clients and their futures. Contact David Lee Sellers, PA for representation today.
Florida law defines theft as knowingly obtaining or using — or attempting to obtain or use — the property of another with intent to temporarily or permanently deprive that person of the right to that property, benefit from the property, appropriately use the property for themselves, or for the use of others not entitled to use the property.
Examples of theft include shoplifting, stealing a car, tapping into someone else’s cable, using a weapon to steal property, entering someone else’s home to steal property, committing fraud, embezzling money from an employer or family member, forging a signature on a loan application, or stealing someone else’s identity.
There are two major classifications for theft charges in Florida. Charges and penalties depend on the value of property stolen, the means used to take it, and the previous number of times someone has been convicted of theft.
Petit theft, or “petty theft,” is charged as a first- or second-degree misdemeanor. A second-degree misdemeanor involves the theft of property valued at less than $100. If the value of the stolen property ranges from $100 to $750, the theft would be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor.
Grand theft charges range from first- to third-degree felonies. Theft of property valued at less than $750 can rise from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony if the accused is a repeat offender or if they take the property from someone’s home. Third-degree felony charges would also apply to thefts of a will, a motor vehicle, a stop sign, anhydrous ammonia, a controlled substance, a firearm, a farm animal, more than 2,000 individual pieces of citrus fruit, and property valued in excess of $750 but less than $20,000.
Second-degree grand theft felony charges include theft of emergency or law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more, property valued between $20,000 and $100,000, interstate or intrastate cargo valued at less than $50,000, and property valued between $5,000 and $20,000 stolen during looting or a riot.
First-degree grand theft felony charges apply when the stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more, theft of a law enforcement semi-trailer, theft of interstate or intrastate cargo valued at $50,000 or more, when a getaway vehicle is used during the commission of the crime, or when damage to property during the commission of the crime exceeds $1,000.
Penalties for theft convictions vary according to the charges. There may be enhanced penalties for repeat offenders or when the victim is aged 65 years or older.
Second-degree misdemeanor — Up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine
First-degree misdemeanor — Incarceration of up to one year and a $1,000 fine
Third-degree felony — Incarceration of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000
Second-degree felony — Incarceration of no more than 15 years and a fine of no more than $10,000
First-degree felony — Incarceration of no more than 30 years and a fine of no more than $10,000
Florida law is tough on people convicted of theft crimes. People charged with shoplifting, or the parents of a minor charged with shoplifting, may face civil procedures and penalties as well.
If you have been accused of or charged with a theft crime, you need an attorney who can help you mount an aggressive defense. Otherwise, you face steep consequences that will follow you throughout your life. Guilty or not, this is no time to gamble your future by representing yourself or relying on a public defender with a heavy caseload.
David Lee Sellers and his team have the insight and resources necessary to provide exceptional criminal defense for clients in Pensacola, Florida, as well as Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, and Milton. David Lee Sellers, PA has been delivering results for more than 30 years. You need an aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side. Call or reach out today for reliable legal help!