Leasing is a way of life for Americans. Rather than purchasing an item, which can be extremely expensive, leasing provides individuals with the option of renting an item from a property owner in exchange for scheduled regular payments. At the end of the leasing term, the lessee or tenant is required to return the property to the property owner. Failing to return leased property in Orlando, however, is not only a breach of term agreements but also against the law and can result in severe penalties. Rather than allow the state to prosecute you for this offense, seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable defense attorney.
The Orlando failure to return defense attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm are passionate theft defense lawyers with a proven history of protecting the rights of the accused. Various events could have led up to the charge, and no matter what they may be, our dedicated team of attorneys is here to fight for you.
Rental agencies, including home furnishing stores and rental car agencies, require anyone leasing property to sign a lease agreement.
For car agencies, those leases require the person renting the vehicle to follow all rules stated in the contract, pay the bill on time, pay any parking or speeding tickets they get, and, of course, bring the vehicle back in good condition at the specified date and time. Car rental companies go by a 24-hour clock, meaning if you check out your car at 9 a.m., you need to return that car by 9 a.m. or pay any fees noted in the contract.
Likewise, if you rent furniture, a television, or other items from a rental center, you could face late fees and be charged with theft if you signed a lease and fail to return the leased items by the date specified in the contract. Some rental agencies do press for felony theft charges for unpaid fees or failure to return items.
When a property owner chooses to charge you with failure to return leased property, the burden of proof falls on the state to present facts that prove your guilt. In doing so, they will be required to prove the following:
Failure to prove these four essential factors beyond a reasonable doubt can result in charges being lessened or even dropped altogether. However, if a prosecutor can successfully prove that all of the previously mentioned elements are present and true, you’ll be subjected to criminal prosecution.
The Florida penalties for failure to return leased property depend solely on the value of the leased property. Failure to return property valued under $300 is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by:
The charge is increased to a third-degree felony when the property that wasn’t returned is valued at $300 or more. The penalties for a third-degree felony in Florida are as follows:
The prosecution will often use the defendant’s failure to return the leased property within five days of receiving a written demand (Florida Statute § 812.155(4)(b)) from the property owner as evidence to prove that the defendant knowingly abandoned or refused to return the property.
The Orlando failure to return defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm possess more than 100 years of combined experience and dedicate our efforts to helping disprove claims brought against the accused. Intricacies as seemingly insignificant as whether or not a lease agreement has the proper notice in it can be exposed to your benefit as the defendant.
However, your criminal defense options don’t end there; we have also successfully implemented the following defenses:
Our team of leased property theft lawyers in Orlando is here to help ensure that this misunderstanding doesn’t result in your misfortune. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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