Theft means taking or possessing something you know is not yours by right and intending to keep it or profit from it. Theft crimes vary in severity from misdemeanors to felonies, but all theft charges are serious.
Get in touch with a Winter Garden theft lawyer immediately if you are being accused of stealing or facing theft charges. A seasoned defense attorney could protect your rights while working to get the charges dismissed or reduced.
Theft means that someone knowingly possesses property that is not theirs. How the object was taken is not as important. Shoplifting, embezzlement, credit card fraud, possessing stolen property, and acquiring property by false pretenses are all considered theft crimes.
Florida Statute § 812.014 defines the various classes of theft and their punishments. A prosecutor will charge theft as a misdemeanor or petit larceny if the property’s value is no more than $300. The crime could be a second-degree misdemeanor, and a conviction could lead to up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
When the value of the property exceeds $300 but is less than $20,000, the crime is grand theft, and conviction carries up to six years in state prison and a $5000 fine.
When the property’s value exceeds $20,000 but is less than $100,000, the crime is a second-degree felony. The punishment if convicted is up to 15 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
A knowledgeable Winter Garden theft attorney could further explain the potential classification and penalties associated with an individual’s particular theft charge.
People convicted of crimes of moral turpitude are ineligible to immigrate to the United States, and resident immigrants could face deportation. Because of this, individuals charged with theft are often concerned that an arrest or conviction might endanger their immigration status.
Courts have ruled that theft under the Florida statute is not a crime of moral turpitude, and a conviction does not affect the status of legal immigrants. Undocumented people may face immigration action after an arrest for any crime, however.
Even though theft is not a crime of moral turpitude under the law, someone convicted of this charge could face challenges getting a job, credit, and housing. An adept Winter Garden attorney could work to prevent a theft conviction to avoid these harsh collateral consequences.
The severity of a theft charge depends on the value of the property. This means a defense attorney could challenge the prosecutor’s charging decision by disputing the value assigned to the items in question. In some instances, presenting proof of overvaluation could result in a prosecutor reducing or even dropping charges.
In addition, a conviction of this type requires that the accused knowingly had possession of something they had no right to possess. This definition provides some avenues for a Winter Garden attorney to combat theft charges. They could present evidence that the accused did not know they “possessed” the property, did not realize it belonged to someone else or did not know they had no right to possess it. The evidence could raise enough doubt in the jurors’ minds to prevent a conviction.
A conviction on theft charges could have serious consequences beyond the criminal penalties. Do not risk your future. A Winter Garden theft lawyer knows how to work with prosecutors to get the best possible legal results under the circumstances.
If you are facing allegations of theft, reach out today to get a zealous advocate on your side.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys