Florida law uses the term “theft” to describe multiple property crimes, including petit theft, grand theft, burglary, fraud, and other offenses. Almost every “theft” crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony, are considered by the Florida criminal justice system to be “crimes of dishonesty or untruthfulness.” A conviction for any crime of dishonesty can be used against you when you apply for a job, during a background check, or if you ever testify in a court of law. The Sarasota criminal defense attorneys at Fowler Law Group have extensive experience handling all types theft related charges.
The crime(s) of petit/grand theft occur when a person takes another person's property without consent and with the intention of temporarily or permanently depriving the person of the property. Petit theft involves the theft of money or property valued at less than $300. When a person commits petit theft, he/she will be charged with a misdemeanor offense. Grand theft involves money or property valued at over $300. There are various degrees of grand theft and the degrees depend upon the value of the property stolen. When a person is charged with grand theft, they will be charged with a felony. The legal consequences of being convicted of a petite or grand theft can vary depending on the type of theft crime committed and a person’s criminal history. In cases where a person is charged with stealing property from a retail merchant (store re: Macy’s, Wal-Mart, etc.), these types of charges may be referred a shoplifting or retail theft.
Burglary is a type of theft crime that occurs when a person unlawfully enters another person's property or premises with the intent to commit a crime. Like petit/grand theft, there are varying degrees of burglary depending on the nature of the property or premises that was alleged to have been entered. The penalties for being convicted of a burglary offense can also vary depending on whether the property or premises was occupied at the time the alleged burglary occurred.
Burglary of a Structure/Conveyance: where someone breaks into an automobile or non-residential conveyance with the intent to commit a crime inside such as a theft. This offense is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five (5) years in Florida State Prison.
Burglary of a Dwelling: This is where someone enters a residence (without the permission of the home owner) with the intent to commit a crime inside. However, breaking into the actual home is not a requirement to be charged with this offense. All Florida law requires is that someone enters the curtilage (i.e. fenced in area) of the residence. This offense is a second degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in Florida State Prison.
Burglary with an Assault/Battery: This is where someone enters someone's property and commits and assault and/or battery inside. This offense is a first degree felony, punishable by up to thirty (30) years in Florida State Prison.
Grand Theft Auto
Auto theft occurs when a person takes another person’s motor vehicle without permission. Under Florida Law, a theft of this nature occurs when a person steals another person’s car, truck, motorcycle, or other type of motor vehicle without the intention of returning the vehicle to its rightful owner. In the state of Florida, auto theft is usually considered a felony offense and if convicted, may require the defendant to spend a significant amount of time in prison.
Respected Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with a theft crime in Florida, it is imperative that you speak with a qualified theft crimes defense attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. Without assistance from a skilled criminal defense legal team, your chances of receiving a favorable outcome are significantly reduced. By working with the Sarasota criminal defense attorneys at Fowler Law Group, you can find comfort in the fact that you will receive the guidance, respect, and compassion you need to ensure the best possible outcome to your case.
At Fowler Law Group, our legal team understands the fear and uncertainty that comes with being charged with crime and make it a point to effectively communicate with our clients throughout the entire legal process. For more information on how one of our Sarasota criminal defense attorneys can help, call now and schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.