Theft Law Firm – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
In general, the area of theft law covers several major criminal charges including larceny, burglary, and robbery. When you’ve been charged or accused of theft, it typically means that you have removed something of value without the consent of the person who owns it. It also means that you have removed the item or items without the intent of returning them.
There are specific ways in which the state of Florida handles these cases, and if you have found yourself charged or accused of theft, we encourage you to contact the law office of Gabriela C. Novo for guidance on how to handle your case.
We thought it would be helpful to break down the criminal theft laws, and the penalties that follow, to give you a better understanding about what the outcome of these cases looks like and why you need to hire a Fort Lauderdale theft lawyer.
Florida Theft Laws Defined
When charged with theft, the crime will be referred to as either “grand theft” or “petit theft” (petty). Let’s discuss what these terms mean. Grand theft is classified as a felony and therefore is accompanied by harsher penalties or even life in prison. Petit theft is a misdemeanor and can lead to less significant penalties like fines, community service, probation or shorter jail sentences.
Penalties are determined by what was taken and its value, such as stealing clothe versus stealing a car. Some crimes come with more severe consequences. Here is a look at how the penalties are broken down into different categories.
Second Degree Misdemeanor Petit Theft
Property values at $100 or less
Punishable with 60-days in jail and a potential fine
First Degree Misdemeanor Petit Theft
Property values between $100 to $299
Punishable with 1-year in jail and a potential fine
Third Degree Grand Felony Theft
Property valued between $300 to $19,999
Punishable by a 5-year prison term and potential fine
Property covered in this law includes a motor vehicle, firearm, farm animals used for commercial purposes, 2,000+ pieces of fruit, specific city signage, or fire extinguisher.
Second Degree Grand Felony Theft
Property stolen between $20,000 to $99,000
Punishable by 15-years behind bars and a potential fine
First Degree Grand Felony Theft
Property valued at $100,000 or more
Punishable with 30-years of prison time and a potential fine
How Multiple Theft Crimes Impact Your Record
If you have been previously charged with theft, multiple petit theft charges can add up to a felony depending on the circumstances. You will need to consult with a Fort Lauderdale theft attorney to learn more about your particular situation. Not only will you now be faced with a felony charge, but you can also have other rights taken away such as a suspension of your driver’s license.
Theft and Burglary in Florida
If you’ve been charged with burglary theft, this means you’ve entered a dwelling unlawfully. You do not have to have steal anything, and there would be separate charges if you committed a crime after breaking in. The prosecution will have to prove that you had intent to commit a crime in order to be charged with burglary. First degree burglary is punishable by the following criteria:
Damage of the dwelling upon entering, such as breaking a window or kicking down a door.
Causing $1,000 in estimated damage as a result of the break in.
Committing another crime, such a robbery or assault at the time of the burglary.
The burglary was accompanied with a deadly weapon, such as a firearm.
Penalties for Burglary in Florida
Burglaries are penalized depending on what transpired during the crime. If a deadly weapon wasn’t present or there was no battery or assault committed, the perpetrator will be charged with a second-degree felony charge. All burglaries in Florida are charged as felonies, and you will need an experienced theft law firm in Fort Lauderdale to handle your case effectively.
Third Degree Burglary
Punishable with 5-years in prison
A potential fine
Second Degree Burglary
Punishable by a 15-year prison term
A potential fine
First Degree Burglary
Punishable, up to life in prison
A potential fine
Theft and Robbery in Florida
All robbery charges in Florida are considered felonies as most require some sort of “force”, therefore placing everyday people in harm’s way. Robbery includes taking property that is not lawfully yours, with behaviors such as force, intimidation, threats, coercion or violence. There are two types of robbery charges in Florida:
Second Degree Robbery
Punishable by 15-years in prison
A potential fine
First Degree Robbery
Punishable by up to life in prison, if a weapon was used in the robbery
Includes carjackings, and breaking into a home (with or without a weapon)
Top Three Reasons to Work with a Theft Attorney Near You in Fort Lauderdale
You will need to work quickly when navigating a criminal case involving theft. Working with a court-appointed attorney, while they mean well, isn’t likely going to give you a favorable result.
Here are the top three reasons you should consider working with our office.
- An Experienced Attorney Who Knows Criminal Theft law – There are highly skilled attorneys all over South Florida, but you will need to work with one who understands theft law thoroughly to help you get the best possible outcome.
- Resources and a Network of Legal Professionals – We work in the criminal defense space every day, which has given us valuable connections with those in the criminal legal field. Working with us gives you access to these invaluable professionals and resources.
- Best Possible Outcome – Criminal theft charges carry heavy penalties, and you don’t want to leave your future in the hands of someone who doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Working with a Fort Lauderdale theft lawyer will ensure you get the best possible outcome and potentially reduce your penalties and fines.
Please call or connect with us today to schedule an appointment to talk with the law office of Gabriela C. Novo. Don’t delay, as it can adversely impact your case and change the course of your future.