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What Is Grand Theft?
Grand theft is a criminal offense that involves the theft of someone else’s property. It is considered a serious crime and is punishable by law. The term “grand theft” is used to differentiate it from petty theft, which involves the theft of property that is of lesser value.
See Florida statutes 812.014There are multiple level and grand theft charges in Florida. Grand theft in Florida can be for theft of property worth as little as $100.00 in the appropriate circumstances (theft from a house or the curtilage). Prosecutors are notorious for over-charging; a good criminal defense attorney can see the problems with and flaws in the State’s case and get to a resolution favorable to the accused.
Theft is considered a crime because it involves the taking of property that belongs to someone else without their permission. It is important to note that theft can be committed in different ways. For example, a person can commit theft by physically taking an object, such as a car or a piece of jewelry. Theft can also be committed through deception or fraud, such as by using someone’s credit card without their permission.
When a person is charged with grand theft, the penalties can be severe. The punishment for grand theft can range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the crime and the jurisdiction. In some cases, a person may be required to make restitution, which means they must pay back the value of the stolen property.
In addition to the legal consequences, a person who is convicted of grand theft may also face social and personal consequences. For example, a conviction for grand theft may make it difficult for a person to find employment or to obtain credit in the future.
It is important to understand that theft is a serious crime that can have long-lasting consequences. If you or someone you know has been accused of grand theft, it is important to seek legal advice immediately to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible defense.
Types of Grand Theft
There are several different types of grand theft each with its own specific legal definition and elements.
Property theft is the most common type of grand theft, and it involves the stealing of property that is valued over a certain amount. In Florida, the threshold for grand theft of property is $750 or more. Property theft can include a wide range of items, such as jewelry, electronics, and other valuables.
Motor vehicle theft
Motor vehicle theft involves the stealing of a motor vehicle, such as a car, truck, or motorcycle. In Florida, motor vehicle theft is considered grand theft regardless of the value of the vehicle. The penalties for motor vehicle theft can be severe, including prison time and large fines.
Firearm theft is a very serious offense that carries severe penalties, as firearms are considered dangerous weapons. In Florida, stealing a firearm is considered grand theft regardless of the value of the firearm. If convicted of firearm theft, the offender can face significant prison time and fines.
Identity theft involves the stealing of personal information, such as Social Security numbers or credit card information, for the purpose of committing fraud. In Florida, identity theft is considered a form of grand theft, and the penalties can be severe.
Embezzlement involves the stealing of funds or property by a person who has been entrusted with it. Embezzlement often occurs in the context of an employer-employee relationship, such as when an employee steals from their employer. In Florida, embezzlement is considered a form of grand theft, and the penalties can be severe.
Theft by deception
Theft by deception involves the use of deception or fraud to steal property or funds. This can include a wide range of activities, such as posing as a contractor and taking money from homeowners for a renovation project but never completing the work. In Florida, theft by deception is considered a form of grand theft, and the penalties can be severe.
Penalties for Grand Theft
The penalties for grand theft vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the crime. In general, however, grand theft is considered a felony offense and carries serious penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and probation.
In Florida, grand theft is considered a felony offense and carries severe penalties. The specific penalties for grand theft depend on the value of the property stolen and the circumstances of the crime.
A breakdown of the penalties for grand theft in Florida is as follows:
- Grand theft in the first degree: This is the most serious form of grand theft and involves the theft of property valued at $100,000 or more, or the theft of certain types of property such as firearms, motor vehicles, or controlled substances. Grand theft in the first degree is a first-degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Grand theft in the second degree: This involves the theft of property valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000. Grand theft in the second degree is a second-degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Grand theft in the third degree: This involves the theft of property valued at $750 or more, but less than $20,000. Grand theft in the third degree is a third-degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
It is important to note that these penalties are subject to enhancement if the defendant has prior convictions or if the theft involved certain aggravating factors. Additionally, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution to the victim for any damages or losses incurred as a result of the theft.
Legal Defenses for Grand Theft
If you have been accused of grand theft, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. Some common legal defenses for grand theft include:
Lack of intent
To prove grand theft, the prosecution must show that the defendant had the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property. Lack of intent can be a defense if the defendant did not have the necessary mental state to commit the crime. For example, if the defendant took the property by mistake, or if they believed that they had a right to the property, this can be a defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help investigate and present evidence to support a lack of intent defense.
Mistaken identity can be a defense if the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was the person who committed the theft. This defense can be particularly effective if the victim did not get a good look at the thief or if there is no other physical evidence linking the defendant to the crime. A criminal defense attorney can investigate and present evidence to support a mistaken identity defense.
If the owner of the property gave the defendant permission to take the property, or if the defendant reasonably believed that they had permission to take the property, this can be a defense. For example, if the defendant was given the keys to a car by the owner and told they could use it, but then the owner changed their mind and reported it stolen, the defendant may have a valid consent defense. A criminal defense attorney can investigate and present evidence to support a consent defense.
If the defendant was forced to commit the theft under threat of harm or other coercion, this can be a defense. Duress may be a defense if the defendant was in fear of their life or safety or the safety of their loved ones. A criminal defense attorney can investigate and present evidence to support a duress defense.
Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officers induce someone to commit a crime they would not otherwise have committed. Entrapment can be a defense if the defendant can show that they were not predisposed to commit the crime and that the police acted improperly in inducing them to commit the crime. A criminal defense attorney can investigate and present evidence to support an entrapment defense.
It is important to note that the success of any legal defense will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, as well as the skill and experience of the criminal defense attorney. If you have been charged with grand theft in Florida, it is important to speak to a qualified attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
FAQs When Being Accused of Grand Theft
If you have been accused of grand theft you may have a lot of unanswered questions and may not even be sure why you have been charged with grand theft in the first place. Our team of legal experts are here to answer some of your questions and provide clarity on all of the uncertain aspects.
How is grand theft different from petty theft?
Grand theft involves the theft of property worth more than a certain amount, or in circumstances that enhance a petty theft to grand theft, while petty theft involves the theft of property worth less than that amount.
Can I be charged with grand theft if I did not physically take the property?
Yes, in some cases you can be charged with grand theft even if you did not physically take the property. For example, if you were involved in a conspiracy to steal the property, or if you received stolen property knowing that it was stolen, you may be charged with grand theft.
Can I negotiate a plea bargain for a grand theft charge?
Yes, in some cases it may be possible to negotiate a plea bargain for a grand theft charge. A plea bargain is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor, in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to accept a reduced sentence in exchange for avoiding a trial and the possibility of a more severe penalty.
Can I expunge a grand theft conviction from my record?
In some jurisdictions, it may be possible to expunge a grand theft conviction from your record. Expungement is a legal process in which a criminal conviction is removed from your record, making it easier to obtain employment, housing, and other opportunities. However, the availability of expungement and the specific requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of your case.
Can I be charged with both grand theft and burglary if I steal property from someone’s home?
Yes, if you enter someone’s home with the intent to steal property and then steal property valued at $750 or more, you can be charged with both burglary and grand theft.
Why Choose Our Law Firm
If you have been accused of grand theft, it is important to choose a law firm with experience in handling criminal cases. Our law firm has a proven track record of success in defending clients against charges of grand theft and other serious crimes. We understand the complex legal issues involved in these cases and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Our team of skilled criminal defense attorneys has the knowledge, experience, and resources needed to provide you with effective representation in your case. We will thoroughly investigate the facts of your case, analyze the evidence against you, and develop a comprehensive legal strategy designed to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
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In addition to our legal expertise, we are committed to providing our clients with personalized, compassionate, and responsive legal services. We understand that being accused of a crime can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, and we will be with you every step of the way, providing you with the support and guidance you need to navigate the legal process with confidence and peace of mind.
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Free Consultations And Grand Theft Case Review
If you have been accused of grand theft, it is important to take immediate action to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Being accused of grand theft is a serious matter, with far reaching implication well into your future. If you or someone you known has been charged with a grand theft offense, or you have any further questions or uncertainties, it will be best to contact an attorney to clarify the issues and assuage your concerns.
Our firm stands ready to evaluate you case; arrange a consultation to seek the professional legal advice you require. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys. We will provide you with a free comprehensive case evaluation, answer your questions and provide sound advice on the way forward.
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