If you are facing allegations related to theft, you need to act quickly and decisively to protect yourself. Even if the case moves forward as a misdemeanor, a conviction will create a criminal record and could force you to spend time in jail, while more serious instances become felonies that can have a permanent impact on your life. It is critically important to give yourself every advantage moving forward in your case.
Hiring a Sanford theft lawyer to manage your case could give you the support that you need. A seasoned criminal defense attorney is prepared to explain Florida’s larceny laws and evaluate why an arrest took place in order to uncover evidence that may help you.
There is no portion of the state’s criminal code that uses the term “theft.” Instead, police officers make arrests, and courts hear cases under the state’s larceny statutes. Under Florida Statute § 812.014, a larceny is any taking of property from the rightful owner with the intent of depriving the owner of the use of that item. As a result, larceny charges may follow from incidents where a defendant supposedly took an item for their own use or when they took it with the intent to sell it to another party.
The seriousness of a larceny charge usually depends on the value of the item(s) involved in the incident. When determining this value, courts can combine the individual value of items into one charge. For example, the alleged theft of five pairs of shoes will combine the total value of those shoes into a single, more serious charge.
Many examples of larceny are misdemeanors of the second degree. This happens when the value of the items is under $100. Convictions of this kind cannot result in a jail sentence longer than 60 days.
By contrast, some examples of larceny are felonies. When the value of the items involved rises to $750 or more, the case will always be a felony where a conviction can bring a prison sentence of at least one year. A Sanford theft attorney could provide further information about theft charges and the potential consequences of a conviction.
Prosecutors pursuing larceny cases must prove two core concepts. The first is that the defendant took the property of another. The most direct way to contest this idea is that there has been a case of mistaken identity. Especially if a supposed witness did not personally observe a theft, video cameras and other surveillance tools may not be sufficiently precise to identify an alleged thief.
Prosecutors must also show that a defendant took property with the intention of depriving the owner of its use. If there is an honest dispute as to the actual ownership of an item while it is in the possession of the defendant, it could be improper to say that the defendant intended to steal the item.
A theft lawyer develops a defense that best fits the facts of every case. This includes working to exclude any illegal evidence in court and making persuasive arguments at trial.
Many people think of an arrest for allegations of theft as a minor issue. However, even a conviction for a misdemeanor case can create a criminal record and force you to spend time in jail. Additionally, many of these cases are felonies that can have lifelong consequences.
Let a Sanford theft lawyer fight to protect your future. They could explain the laws that control your case and perform a full investigation into the incident. Fill out a contact form or call The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys to discuss this matter.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys