Brevard County Theft Lawyer

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Brevard County Theft Defense Attorney

An accusation of a crime can be damaging to your reputation, while a conviction for one can be even worse. In Florida, criminal convictions could not only carry potential jail time and fines, but they could also impact your ability to find housing, employment, or participate in future educational opportunities. This is no more true than with the crime of theft. Some crimes in Florida are classified as “crimes of dishonesty,” which, under the law, employers are allowed to ask about in job interviews. While it will likely show up on a criminal background check, employers are particularly concerned about theft in Brevard, Florida because they want to know how your background could impact their business.

Because of the repercussions of such criminal convictions, it is important to seek the protection you need to fight criminal charges for theft. Chang Law Firm is a team with the knowledge and experience to help you defend against these potentially damaging cases. If you have been accused of a theft crime, our firm is ready to help provide you with an individualized and comprehensive defense, whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony charge.

Brevard County Theft Lawyer

Types of Theft Crimes

Theft charges can apply to a variety of crimes. While some are more common than others, each carries a heavy impact if you are convicted. Common types of theft charges in Florida include:

  • Shoplifting from a retail location
  • Trafficking or dealing in stolen property
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Providing false information to a pawnbroker
  • Grand theft
  • Writing worthless checks

To successfully convict someone of theft, the following elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The accused knowingly or unlawfully used or obtained property that belonged to the victim. This can also be proven if there was an intent to use or obtain the property of another.
  • The accused acted in the above manner with the specific intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of their right to their property or a benefit thereof.

Florida law defines “obtaining or uses” as:

  • The taking or control of specific property
  • Using, dispossessing, or transferring property without authorization to do so
  • Using false pretenses, such as fraud or misrepresentation, to obtain property
  • Committing other crimes previously referred to as larceny, stealing, embezzlement, misappropriation, and others under false pretenses, such as fraud or deception

Property theft crimes can involve tangible, real property as well as intangible property, such as rights, privileges, interests, or services.

Degrees of Theft

Each theft crime in Florida will range in severity depending on the type of theft and the circumstances of the crime itself. The degree of the charge will have an impact on the potential penalties that you could face if convicted.

  • Petty Theft: This is the most common type of theft and is considered a misdemeanor. Generally, these charges are associated with stealing from a retail or grocery store and could sometimes be referred to as retail theft. For items totaling less than $100, you could face 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. For items totaling between $100 and $300, you could face up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
  • Third-Degree Grand Theft: This charge applies when the item or items in question total more than $300 but less than $20,000. For third-degree grand theft, you could face up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Second-Degree Grand Theft: When the property value is more than $20,000, but less than $100,000, you could be charged with a second-degree felony. This charge is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • First-Degree Grand Theft: For any theft crime where the value of the property is over $100,000, this felony is also punishable by up to thirty years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

FAQs About Brevard, FL Theft Defense Law

What Is the Florida Statute for Stealing?

According to Florida Statute 812.014, if someone purposefully uses or obtains, or attempts to obtain or use, someone else’s property while intending to either permanently or temporarily:

  • Deprive someone of a right to their property or a benefit from their property.
  • Appropriate the property for his or her own use or the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.

Can Petty Theft Charges Be Dropped in Florida?

While there is always a chance that charges could be dropped based on evidence alone, Florida offers an additional way to negotiate a dismissal of your charges. If you are accused of petty theft, and agree to participate in a diversion program rather than go to trial, you may qualify to have your charges dropped.

What Is the Felony Theft Amount in Florida?

Any property that is stolen and valued at more than $300 is considered felony theft. The dollar amount of the property will determine which degree of felony the crime is considered to be, along with any other circumstances surrounding the crime. Punishment for felony theft could mean a minimum of five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

What Is the Punishment for Petty Theft in Florida?

Petty theft is any theft of property that is valued under $300. Depending on the value of the property in question, punishments could result in up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. The circumstances of the theft, the property in question, and any prior convictions you may have could affect the final sentencing you receive if convicted.

Brevard County Criminal Attorney

If you have been accused of theft, you should seek representation as quickly as possible. The team at Chang Law Firm has the skill and knowledge to defend you. Unlike a public defender, we individualize your case to ensure that it receives the attention it deserves. We work to ensure that you receive a defense that is based on your facts, not on the facts of other cases like it. Our team fights aggressively for you and investigates the circumstances of your case thoroughly to work towards an acquittal or having your charges reduced or dismissed. A conviction for theft can carry heavy penalties in and out of the legal system, but with the right defense attorney, you can fight for your future. Contact our offices today.

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