Facing a criminal theft charge should never be taken lightly. A theft charge on your record, even a misdemeanor, can seriously affect your future. It can keep you from getting the job you want because employers often will not hire candidates with these charges on their records. You may be denied educational opportunities, school loans, grants, and professional licenses. It can ruin your reputation and impose other social consequences.
When a theft takes place, the value of the property stolen is subjective. Often, the prosecution will increase the value of the stolen property to maximize the charges against the defendant. These are the reasons why it is essential that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight to defend your reputation and protect your rights.
Penalties for Theft Convictions
Theft is charged at almost every degree of misdemeanor and felony offense. Florida law distinguishes between two levels of severity of theft. Grand theft can be a first-degree felony with a maximum sentence of thirty (30) years in prison, a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison, or a third-degree felony with a maximum sentence of five (5) years of incarceration. In addition, there are enhanced penalties for habitual felony offenders.
Petit theft can be either a first- or second-degree misdemeanor. If there is a prior conviction of any theft, then a petit theft will be a first-degree misdemeanor. If there are two or more previous convictions, then petit theft can be classified as a third-degree felony.
Frequently, Theft Charges in Florida are for Acts of:
- Employee theft
- Trafficking stolen property
- Failure to return leased property
- Theft of services
- Passing bad checks
The Defense Attorney’s Obligation is to hold the Prosecutor to their Burden of Proof.
Alba & Straile PLLC defends clients charged with petit theft and grand theft crimes. We are committed to putting in the time that is necessary to be more prepared than anyone else. Our law firm attends to every detail and works collaboratively with a team of expert professionals, when necessary, to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted. As a result, we are always ready to take your case to trial.
The prosecution must prove that the person committed the crime with intent, to convict a defendant of theft. The alleged theft may have a valid defense if there is a misunderstanding of ownership or if the theft occurred out of duress. If a person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they committed a theft, an attorney could argue an intoxication defense. In that case, the defendant may persuade the court that they did not intend to commit the theft. Other defenses include, but are not limited to entrapment, mistaken identity, an alibi, or a mistake of fact.
Criminal Defense from an Experienced Law Firm
A defendant accused of theft must seek legal advice to avoid devastating repercussions. When the right team of legal experts is backing a client, there is a high chance of a reduced charge or a dismissal. Criminal defense is the focus of Attorney Christian A. Straile’s practice. His past insights are the tools he uses to build a successful defense. Whether a client faces misdemeanor or felony charges of theft, the legal team at Alba & Straile PLLC will do everything possible to get these charges dismissed or reduced.
We are focused on client results and committed to providing our clients with compassion, attention to detail, and ease of attorney accessibility. Let us offer you sound legal counsel to effectively and efficiently address all of your criminal defense needs. We represent clients in all Florida State Courts. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A flexible appointment schedule is available to meet the needs of our clients. We are here when you need us. We offer complimentary consultations for all criminal defense cases. Contact us at our Gainesville, Florida offices at (352) 371-9141 to schedule an appointment.