Theft Crimes in Gainesville, FL
Theft encompasses several property crimes in Florida, such as conversion, larceny, robbery, and stealing. Yet, the crux of a theft crime, as defined in Florida Statute § 812.014, is dependent on the accused’s intent of unlawful taking or use of someone else’s property and to deprive the owner of its use, or take the property for personal use when the accused was not entitled to use the property. The value and type of property taken define whether the crime is petty theft or grand theft, along with the type of theft dictating whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony.
If you've been arrest for theft, be it in Gainesville or the surrounding areas, contact criminal defense attorney Adam Stout. What you don't know can negatively impact the outcome of your case. That is why it is important to contact Adam right now.
Penalties for Theft
Depending upon the value of what you allegedly stole, you may be facing jail or state prison. If you're adjudicated guilty of theft, you will be legally convicted of a crime involving dishonesty and deceit. Let that sink in. If you do not understand what an "adjudication" is, or are concerned about a conviction, go ahead and contact Adam Stout.
Importance of Intent
It is important to keep in mind someone can steal something even if he or she has no intention of permanently keeping the item. All that is necessary is the intent to take something. The value of the item then categorizes the seriousness of the crime. These are the dynamics of a theft case. If this is something you're presently dealing with, be productive and contact a criminal defense attorney if you haven't done so by now. You may reach Adam seven days a week by calling the number shown above.
If you've been accused of theft there is a good chance the State will seek restitution. This involves money paid toward a victim either in a lump sum or over time. Restitution amounts are dictated by the facts of a case and can be really expensive. Failure to pay restitution can lead an individual to have his or her probation revoked. That's a potential bus ticket to a state correctional facility for an unpleasant period of time.
Types of Theft
We label a theft depending upon the value of what was taken. If you steal something valued at less than $100 dollars, you have committed a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail and/or up to a $500 fine. This is what we call petty theft. The other kind of petty theft involves a first-degree misdemeanor. If you're convicted of that you face up to one year in the county jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine. Felony theft typically involves stealing something valued $300 or greater. The caveat being less routine theft crimes such as tax evasion and etc.
Value can be a hard thing to determine for things subject to depreciation. Does that make sense? If not or if you are unsure, it is recommended that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney such Adam Stout right now. He will explain why.
Also called petit theft, per Florida Statute § 812.014(2)(e) a theft crime is considered petty theft if the stolen property has a value up to $299. Second-degree petty theft occurs when the property is valued at less than $100, while first-degree petty theft occurs when the property is valued between $100 and $299. The penalties for petty theft in Florida are:
- Second-Degree Petty Theft: Up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines.
- First-Degree Petty Theft: Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
If the accused has two prior convictions for any theft crime, the charges automatically increase to a third-degree felony.
Grand theft applies when stolen property is valued at more than $300. Grand theft charges are either first-, second-, or third-degree and hinge on the property value.
First-Degree Grand Theft
First-degree grand theft occurs when the property is valued at more than $100,000 or is shipping cargo valued at more than $50,000. It is a first-degree felony per Florida Statute § 812.014(2)(a)1, carrying penalties of up to 30 years in prison, up to 30 years of probation, and fines up to $10,000.
Second-Degree Grand Theft
Second-degree grand theft occurs when the property has a value of more than $20,000 but less than $100,000; is shipping cargo valued at less than $50,000; or is emergency medical equipment valued at more than $300. It is a second-degree felony carrying penalties of up to 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of probation, and fines up to $10,000.
Third-Degree Grand Theft
Third-degree grand theft occurs when the property has a value of more than $300 but less than $20,000; is a will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument; a firearm; or a motor vehicle. As a third-degree felony per Florida Statute § 812.014(c), the penalties are up to 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of probation, and fines up to $5,000.
Shoplifting, or retail theft as defined by Florida Statute § 812.015(1)(d), takes place when a person:
- Knowingly takes possession of or carries unpaid merchandise from the store; or
- Alters or removes a label or price tag on merchandise; or
- Removes merchandise from one container and places in another; or
- Removes a shopping cart from the retailer’s premises.
Shoplifting is often called petty theft and/or larceny. The charges can be either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the stolen property.
If the total value of the merchandise in question is less than $100, the accused may be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. If the total value is more than $100 but less than $300, the charge is a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties are up to 60 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines for a second-degree misdemeanor and up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and up to $1,000 in fines for a first-degree misdemeanor.
A shoplifting charge becomes a third-degree felony offense, or grand theft third-degree if the total value of the merchandise in question is more than $300 but less than $5,000. The penalty is up to five years in state prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
A first-degree felony, carjacking occurs when a vehicle is taken by means of force, violence, and/or threats, as outlined in Florida Statute § 812.133. The penalty for carjacking is up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. If a firearm or deadly weapon is used or possessed during the act of carjacking, the penalty increases to up to life in prison and fines up to $15,000.
Grand theft auto occurs when a person takes a vehicle with the intent of depriving the rightful owner of its use, regardless of how long the person ultimately has the vehicle. The accused may face first-, second-, or third-degree grand theft auto depending on the value of the stolen vehicle. Regardless of degree, grand theft auto is a felony in Florida.
First-Degree Grand Theft Auto
First-degree grand theft auto occurs when a vehicle is valued at more than $100,000, or more than $1,000 in damage to real- or personal-property happens during the crime. The penalty is up to 30 years in prison, and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
Second-Degree Grand Theft Auto
Second-degree grand theft auto happens when the stolen vehicle has a value between $20,000 and $100,000 or the vehicle is an emergency or law enforcement vehicle. Penalties include up to 15 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
Third-Degree Grand Theft Auto
Third-degree grand theft auto occurs when the vehicle is valued between $300 and $20,000. The penalty is up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Identity theft occurs when another person’s identity, such as Social Security number, birth date, address, or phone number, is used to obtain a number of items ranging from credit cards, loans, utility service, and employment under the guise of someone else.
Felony Identity Theft
The criminal use of personal identification information is a third-degree felony in Florida. However, the degree of the felony can increase if specific factors are met, including:
- Second-Degree Felony: Using personal identifying information to obtain property valued at more than $5,000; using personal identifying information of 10 to 19 individuals under Florida Statute § 817.568(2)(b).
- First-Degree Felony: Using personal identifying information of 20 or more individuals; or the theft resulted in a monetary gain of more than $50,000 under Florida Statute § 817.568(2)(c).
Misdemeanor Identity Theft
Falsely impersonating someone else to obtain property is considered larceny and can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the property. Misdemeanor identity theft, as defined in Florida Statute § 817.568(4), also occurs when another person’s personal identifying information is used to harass someone else. The penalty for misdemeanor identity theft is up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
A conviction for felony identity theft can include from one to more than 40 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Additionally, both misdemeanor and felony identity theft convictions can include probation and restitution.
Fraud, as defined by Florida Statute § 817.011, is a common example of larceny by trick. For the larceny by trick definition, the stolen item, such as money, is obtained only in possession, not title. Generally possession is gained through an intentional false statement to the lawful owner of the property.
Contact A Gainesville Defense Attorney
Being charged with a theft crime in Florida is a serious matter. Whether you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges, having a skilled criminal attorney in Gainesville, FL like Adam Stout on your side matters. His years of experience in both sides of the courtroom give him the ability to build a thorough defense for you and help you understand the entire legal process. After reading this, if you are concerned about restitution or anything else about your case, please call now. During this call, you will be given a free consultation to discuss your case and concerns.