A Pensacola Theft Attorney Helps You

  • Understand Florida theft crimes laws and potential penalties
  • Get your felony theft charges reduced to a misdemeanor or dismissed entirely
  • Avoid the harshest consequences, such as time in prison
  • Maintain your reputation, job, housing, and other essentials of life
  • Avoid prison and a criminal record by seeking alternative penalties

How Mitkevicius Law, PLLC Makes a Difference in Theft Cases

Our theft defense lawyer is fearless and will fight for your rights.

At our firm, we offer the following:

  • Free consultations
  • 10+ years of legal experience
  • Responsive counsel
  • Trial-ready mindset that doesn’t force you to settle
  • Personal legal guidance and constant communication

Florida Theft Laws: Charges & Penalties

There are several offenses that are considered theft crimes under § 812.014, Fla. Stat. However, in general, theft occurs when someone knowingly obtains or uses someone else’s property for their own advantage or to deny the owner access to their property.

Common Theft Offenses in Florida

Theft crimes are typically defined according to several factors, including where the offense occurred and the property value. Some Florida theft crimes that our theft charge lawyers handle include:

  • Fraud
  • Larceny
  • Misappropriation
  • Forgery
  • Conversion
  • Grand Theft
  • Petit Theft

Penalties for Florida Theft Crimes

Florida theft crimes range from misdemeanors to felonies. The penalties for these crimes depend on the category that the offense falls into. Some general criminal penalties include:

  • Misdemeanor Theft – Crimes such as petit theft, petty theft, and minor shoplifting of property valued at less than $750 are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Grand Theft – Theft crimes of stolen property valued at $750 or more are felonies in Florida. They may be first-, second-, or third-degree felonies, which are punishable by five, 15, and 30 years in prison, respectively.

Aggravating Factors in Florida Theft Cases

Aggravating factors are circumstances that make a crime more serious and warrant a harsher punishment. In theft cases, aggravating factors can include:

  • The value of the property stolen
  • The nature of the property stolen
  • The method used to commit the theft
  • The vulnerability of the alleged victim
  • Existence of a prior criminal record

Other aggravating factors may include whether the theft was committed as part of a criminal organization, whether the offender abused a position of trust, or whether the theft caused serious harm to the alleged victim.

Judges consider aggravating factors when sentencing for theft crimes. The more aggravating factors present in a case, the more likely you are to receive a harsher sentence.

Collateral Consequences

Collateral consequences are the negative side effects of a criminal conviction that go beyond the direct penalties imposed by the court, such as imprisonment, fines, and probation. Collateral consequences can have a significant impact on your life, making it difficult to find employment, housing, education, and other opportunities.

Some of the most common collateral consequences of theft crimes include:

  • Employment: Many employers conduct criminal background checks on job applicants, and a theft conviction can make it difficult to find a job. Some employers may refuse to hire people with theft convictions altogether, while others may be reluctant to hire them for jobs that involve handling money or other valuables.
  • Housing: Many landlords also conduct criminal background checks on potential tenants, and a theft conviction can make it difficult to find housing. Some landlords may refuse to rent to people with theft convictions altogether, while others may require a higher security deposit or rent payments.
  • Education: Some educational institutions may deny admission to students with theft convictions, or they may require them to complete additional requirements, such as writing an essay or undergoing a background check.
  • Financial Aid: Some financial aid programs are not available to people with theft convictions.
  • Public Benefits: Some public benefits programs, such as food stamps and housing assistance, may not be available to people with serious theft convictions.
  • Professional Licenses: Some professional licenses, such as those for doctors, lawyers, and teachers, may be denied or revoked to people with theft convictions.
  • Gun Rights: People with felony theft convictions are generally prohibited from possessing firearms.
  • Future Testimony: If you are convicted of a theft related crime your conviction can be used to discredit you if you ever must testify in court.

"I can honestly say Mr. Josef and his staff are amazing and took great care of me.

They are really great people and they really care about your case. I went to court today and 7 hours later I got a phone call and email saying all of my charges were dropped and I had serious charges against with years hanging over my head. Mr. Josef and your staff, my family and myself thank you very very much. We love you all and thank you all again so so much. I will refer everyone that needs a good lawyer to you guys and ladies of your law firm. God bless you all."

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Your Florida Theft Crime Defense Options

Regardless of what happened, you need to work with a theft crime lawyer who can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Here are some examples of potential theft defense strategies:

There Was a Lack of Criminal Intent

One of the most common defenses in theft cases is the lack of criminal intent. To be convicted of theft, the prosecution must prove that you had the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property. If you can show that you did not have this intent, you may be able to avoid a conviction.

For example, if you accidentally took the wrong item from a store, or if you borrowed an item without intending to return it, you may be able to argue that you did not have the intent to steal.

You Have a Claim of Right

Another common defense in theft cases is the claim of right. This defense argues that you believed you had a legal right to take the property.

For example, if you are a tenant who is being evicted and you take your belongings from the property, you may be able to argue that you have a claim of right to the property.

You Have an Alibi

An alibi defense is a claim that you were not at the scene of the crime at the time it was committed. If you can provide credible evidence to support your alibi, you may be able to avoid a conviction.

There Was Entrapment

The entrapment defense argues that you were induced to commit the crime by law enforcement. If you can show that they would not have committed the crime but for the inducement by law enforcement, you may be able to avoid a conviction.

There Was Police Misconduct

If the police violated your rights during the investigation or arrest, you may be able to have the evidence suppressed. If the evidence is suppressed, the prosecution may not have enough evidence to convict you.