A Lawyer To Defend You Against Theft Charges
In the state of Florida, theft is a criminal offense, and a conviction can have serious consequences. Based on the monetary value of the property obtained, this crime can be categorized as either a petit theft or a grand theft. Depending on the level of the crime, the offender can be charged with anything from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.
No matter which theft charges you are facing, I can help you at the Finkelstein Firm, P.A., in Clearwater. My name is Jenna Finkelstein, and I will offer you the legal skills, knowledge and guidance you need in your case.
What Qualifies As Theft?
Under Florida Statute 812.014 (4), a person commits a crime like theft if they knowingly obtain or use, or endeavor to obtain or use, the property of another with intent to either temporarily or permanently:
- Deprive the other person of a right to the property or benefit from the property
- Appropriate the property to their own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property
Crimes, such as theft, can also be accompanied with non-legal repercussions. For example, in the state of Florida, theft is considered a crime of dishonesty. For someone who is convicted of theft, this can cause problems in areas such as applying for jobs. The consequences of a conviction are wide ranging and can be devastating.
The Penalties And Defenses Of Theft Charges
In Florida, a second-degree misdemeanor carries with it a potential sentence of 60 days in jail or six months of probation and a fine. If you are convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor, you are facing up to one year in jail, one year of probation and a fine.
Grand theft is a felony that can range from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony charge depending on the value of the property that is the subject of the theft. If you’re convicted of a third-degree felony, you will face up to five years in state prison or five years of probation. The penalty for a second-degree felony is up to 15 years in state prison or 15 years of probation. The most serious category of theft charges in Florida, carrying a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison or 30 years of probation, is first-degree felony grand theft.
Along with incarceration and/or probation, you will be obligated to pay fines and costs, along with restitution. Additionally, you may be required to attend a course such as Shoplifter’s Awareness.
Every theft case is unique, which is why I review these cases to find the best defense plan for each of my clients. Common defenses for these charges can include:
- Mistaken identity
- False accusation
- Lack of evidence
- Lack of intent to deprive
- Mistaken or inaccurate value of property
No matter which option is right for your case, I will be by your side through every step of the defense process.
Fight Your Theft Charges Here
You may have been accused of theft, but that does not mean that you are guilty. Because of the complexities and defenses available to one accused of theft, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced theft crimes lawyer right away.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a theft offense in the Pinellas County or Tampa Bay area, then it is very important that you contact an experienced theft crimes attorney immediately. My team of investigators and experts and I are highly experienced in defending theft crimes, and I will begin building your defense today.
Contact my firm for a free analysis of your case at my local office, located in Clearwater. Call me at 727-202-4418 or email me here to learn about your legal options if you have been accused of theft.