An Aggressive Theft Attorney
I represent people who face charges of shoplifting, grand theft and burglary. I have been doing this for 13 years.
I will contest the evidence and challenge the witnesses against you. Do I need a lawyer for a petit theft, grand theft or robbery charge? The answer is yes. Lawyers can be very helpful to the outcome if hired immediately.
Call Robert A. Dees, PA today at 850-439-0999 to ask any questions and discuss what I can do for you. The call is free. I represent clients throughout Okaloosa County, including Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Niceville.
Theft Charges Under Florida Law
Theft means to knowingly and intentionally take property from another person with the intent to deprive that person of the value of that property or of the benefit of it. There are several different kinds of theft accusations, most of which are defined in Fla.Stat. § 812.014.
Petit theft, means the theft of property with little money value. It involves a person charged with stealing property worth less than $300. Property worth less than $100 is second degree petit theft, a second degree misdemeanor. Property worth between $100 and $300 is first degree petit theft, a first degree misdemeanor.
Grand theft is the theft of any property worth more than $300. The classifications of grand theft go up to first degree felonies, depending on the value of the property stolen:
- Third Degree Felony: Anything more than $300 and less than $20,000 in value; punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
- Second Degree Felony: Anything more than $20,000 and less than $100,000 in value; punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
- First Degree Felony: Anything valued at $100,000 or more; punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Though many offenses that might be called shoplifting are charged as petit theft, some might be charged as retail theft under Fla.Stat. § 812.015. Under this crime, the person is alleged to have carried merchandise away from a store or altered or removed a price tag.
Retail theft is a third degree felony if the property is valued at more than $300.
Call Robert A. Dees, PA at 850-439-0999, and get a Oklaoosa County theft lawyer defending you today.
Other Common Crimes Involving Property
Criminal Mischief (Fla.Stat. § 806.13): This offense includes acts of vandalism. It is the willful and malicious damaging of property, including public property. Criminal mischief is a second degree misdemeanor for property valued at less than $200; a first degree misdemeanor for property worth $200 to $1,000; and a third degree felony for property worth more than $1,000.
Arson (Fla.Stat. § 806.01): Arson means to willfully, unlawfully or during commission of a felony, damage a building or the property of another with explosives or fire. Arson is a second degree felony if the structure or property was unoccupied and a first degree felony if it was occupied.
Criminal Trespass (Fla.Stat. §§ 810.08-810.097): It is criminal trespass to enter or stay on another’s property with warning to leave. A posted sign is sufficient warning. Criminal trespass is a second degree misdemeanor if it was an unoccupied structure or conveyance; and a first degree misdemeanor if the property was occupied. Carrying a firearm could exacerbate the charge and make it a third degree felony.
Burglary (Fla.Stat. § 810.02): Entering or remaining in a building with the intent to commit an offense, including theft, is burglary. Burglary is a third degree felony if the building is unoccupied; a second degree felony if it is occupied; and a first degree felony if prosecutors can prove the defendant was armed.
Punishment for Theft and Burglary Crimes
- First Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Second Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Third Degree Felony: Up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
- First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
Restitution Required in Property Damage Offenses
If you are convicted of an offense that involves damage to property, you may be required by the court to pay restitution to the victim. You could be ordered to pay the value of the damages to the victim as a result of the crime.
A hearing can be held by the Court if the amount of loss or damage is disputed. This is called a restitution hearing.
Resources for Theft and Property Crimes
Florida Statutes, Chapter 812: This portion of state law contains all crimes pertaining to theft and robbery.
Florida Statutes, Chapter 810: All state offenses for burglary and trespass are contained in this chapter.
Florida Statutes, Chapter 806: Any offense relating to arson or criminal mischief is prohibited in this chapter.