Coral Gables Theft Defense Attorney
Grand Theft & Petit Theft
The crime of theft is defined as knowingly using or taking property from another individual with the intention of wrongfully depriving them of that property either permanently or temporarily. There are many different degrees of theft crimes under Florida criminal law, each with its own type of charge and potential penalties. The type of theft charge you may face will depend upon the value of the property in question and possibly the type of property in certain situations. Any type of theft crime can have long-lasting effects on your life, however, so every individual facing theft charges should contact an experienced Coral Gables theft defense attorney as soon as possible.
What is Petit Theft?
Also referred to as petty theft, the charge of petit theft applies when the prosecutor believes you wrongfully obtained property valued at less than $300. Though it may seem like a minor matter to steal something relatively small, petit theft charges come with potentially serious penalties. For example, if the property is valued less than $100, you could face second degree misdemeanor charges, a $500 fine, and up to 60 days in jail. If the property is between $100 and $300, you may be charged with a first degree misdemeanor, which can mean a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
There are ways that an attorney can help you avoid jail time for petit theft convictions, especially if it is your first offense. For example, an attorney can negotiate with a prosecutor for probation, diversionary programs, community service, restitution, and more.
What is Grand theft?
Anytime a prosecutor alleges the property stolen was worth more than $300, you may face felony charges of grand theft. Additionally, charges may be escalated to grand theft in Florida if you are accused of taking any of the following:
- Motor vehicle;
- Will or codicil of a will;
- Fire extinguisher;
- Farm animal;
- Certain amounts of citrus fruit; or
- Stop sign.
Grand theft may be charged as a third, second, or third degree felony depending on the circumstances of your situation, which means you could potentially face up to 30 years in prison.
Theft crimes can have long-lasting consequences
In addition to court-imposed penalties such as fines, probation, or jail time, a theft conviction can have many other effects on your life, as well. Because theft is considered to be a dishonest act and crime of “moral turpitude,” you may face the following consequences:
- Immigration issues;
- Loss of job or future professional opportunities;
- Effect on your personal and business reputation;
- Challenges receiving professional licenses; and/or
- Loss of scholarships or educational opportunities.
Some of these consequences may linger well after any court-imposed sentence is over, so it is highly important to avoid a theft conviction whenever possible.
An experienced Coral Gables theft attorney can help
Theft convictions can have harsh penalties, so anyone who has been arrested or accused of a theft crime should not delay in calling an experienced Coral Gables theft defense attorney. Attorney Alfredo A. Izaguirre knows how to evaluate your case and successfully defend theft-related cases, so please call our office at 305-442-0425 to find out how we can help you.