Theft Attorneys in Clearwater, Florida
Theft charges are a serious matter, and the outcome of your case will impact your life for years to come. Dealing with such a dilemma on your own can be overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with Florida theft laws and how they apply in your case.
At The Law Offices of Hoskins and Penton, P.A., we know how overwhelming it can be to face theft charges – and we understand how pressing the penalties can be. We care about your rights, and we will fight to protect them. The Law Offices of Hoskins and Penton, P.A., proudly serves clients in Clearwater, Florida, New Port Richey, Tampa, and St. Petersburg.
Under Florida law, theft is the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away property of another person either temporarily or permanently. When an individual intentionally takes away property belonging to someone else, they have committed theft. Receiving stolen property is also considered theft.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor Theft
The theft charges depend on the value of what was taken, the type of property (or services) that was stolen, and the circumstances of the theft.
Theft is categorized as either a misdemeanor theft or felony theft. When the property that was stolen amounts to $750 or less, it is a misdemeanor theft. However, when the property stolen is valued at more than $750, it is felony theft.
Types of Theft
In Florida, misdemeanor and felony thefts divide into more specific categories. Misdemeanor thefts are petit thefts, better known as petty thefts, which can be a charge of either first- or second-degree theft.
Felony theft is known as grand theft. It is a classification of either a third-, second-, or first-degree theft. First-degree grand thefts are the most intense level of theft in Florida, and this charge applies when property valued at $100,000 or more is stolen.
Shoplifting is one of the most common types of theft. In the Florida courts, shoplifting is called retail theft. When someone shoplifts repeatedly, they must pay a fine or perform community service. Anyone who shoplifts may be held liable or financially responsible to the victim of the theft.
Possible Penalties for Theft Charges
The penalties for theft depend on the charges. Often, the penalty includes restitution to the victim of the theft. It can also include reimbursement for the victim’s attorney and court fees, up to a reasonable amount.
Ultimately, the penalties and the sentence will depend on the charges. Penalties can range from community service and probation to heavy fines and jail time.
Common Theft Defenses
Theft defenses can help someone accused of theft build their case. There are a variety of theft defenses, and one common theft defense is an alibi. If the accused can prove they were somewhere else when the theft occurred, that evidence can be used to strengthen the case in court.
Another common theft defense is that the accused did not intend to steal. When this is the case, the lack of intent can be used to strengthen the case. Similarly, if the accused honestly believed the property belonged to them, this could help strengthen the case. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn more about common theft defenses.
Serving Clearwater, Florida
Facing theft charges is a significant and overwhelming issue. At The Law Offices of Hoskins and Penton, P.A., we care that you are going through a challenging time in your life. We will fight aggressively for your rights as we guide you through the legal process. The Law Offices of Hoskins and Penton, P.A. represent clients in Clearwater, Florida, New Port Richey, Tampa, and St. Petersburg. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.