Arrested on Grand Theft Charges
Two Boynton Beach residents were on a electronic shopping theft spree, accused of leaving Walmart with stolen electronics worth about $1,760. The security guard watched two men leave with a cart full of electronics only to come back shortly after to get more. The second trip resulted in police interception at the exit.
Akinsvil Paulvil, 21, and Licence Sineas, 19 are facing grand theft charges and currently held at Palm Beach County jail.
In Florida, the seriousness of a theft charge depends upon the amount taken. Theft of $300 or less is misdemeanor petty theft, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Theft or embezzlement of more than $300 is grand theft, a felony that may be subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three or more years.
Grand theft is a term used to describe any theft that in which the items taken exceed a certain monetary value. The exact cost of the item or items needed to constitute a theft of this magnitude may vary based on location. In the United States, grand theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the jurisdiction and the situation surrounding the theft. Factors which may affect how the case is charged may include whether force was used during the theft and the exact value of the stolen goods.
For someone who has committed grand theft to be tried for a felony, proof must be given that the accumulated value of any items stolen is worth a set value. If they are found to be under that value, then he or she may be charged with a misdemeanor. An item’s value may be hard to prove if it was not insured, especially since stolen property is often not recovered. When it is recovered, damage may have occurred, thus altering the overall value if the plaintiff cannot prove the damage was done after the robbery occurred.
The penalties and sentences for theft can range from the minor to the severe, all depending on the factors and circumstances. In cases where property of relatively low value is stolen, petty or petit theft charges may result.
For cases involving more valuable stolen property, the perpetrators may face charges of “grand theft”, which is a felony. Felony charges are very serious and typically result in fines, restitution, and jail time. Other categories of theft, such as grand theft auto, may also have separate laws which apply with specific charges and heightened penalties.
Regardless of the type of theft that is charged, an offender’s history of theft or related crimes has a significant effect on sentencing, with repeat offenders receiving less leniency, while first time offenders may receive relatively lighter penalties.
Florida Theft and Property Crimes
In Florida law, there are essentially two types of property crime. The first deals with offenses involving the theft of someone else’s property. The crimes from this category that affect the most people in Palm Beach County include auto theft and larceny (a general legal term for theft). Theft of property offenses are covered in Chapter 812 of the Florida Statutes. How each type of offense is classed depends on the type and value of the property, as well as where and how it was stolen.
Petit Theft: Fla. Stat. § 812.014 – In Florida, offenses of simple theft are labeled according to the value of the stolen property. Petit theft is charged for theft crimes involving. property valued at $100-$300. To commit petit theft, a person must knowingly obtain, use, or strive to obtain or use another’s property with the intent to deprive the owner of a right or benefit of the property and/or assign the property to his or her own use or the use of another unentitled person.
Shoplifting/Retail Theft: Fla. Stat. § 812.015 – In many cases, shoplifting is simply a case of petit theft. However, given certain circumstances, shoplifting is considered retail theft under Florida law. The definition of retail theft is the taking possession or carrying away of property, the alteration or removal of a label or price tag, the transfer of merchandise from one container to another, or the removal of a shopping cart with the intent to deprive the merchant of the item’s use, possession, benefit, or full retail value. Retail theft is a felony charge if the property is valued at $300 or more and the alleged offender:
- Individually or as part of a team coordinates the activities of one or more persons in committing the offense
- Commits theft from more than one location in 48 hours
- Works with one or more other individuals to distract store employees, police officers, security guards, or other key store personnel in order to carry out the offense
- Commits the offense by purchasing merchandise in the incorrect package, or by adding extra merchandise to the package being purchased
Grand Theft: Fla. Stat. § 812.014 – Grand theft is the offense charged when the property allegedly stolen is of a higher value or of a particular type. If the value of the property stolen is $300 or more, it is considered grand theft. It is also grand theft to steal things like controlled substances, anhydrous ammonia, commercially-farmed animals, more than 2,000 citrus fruits, construction site property, interstate or intrastate cargo, law enforcement or emergency medical equipment, motor vehicles, firearms, fire extinguishers, and stop signs.
Florida Theft And Shoplifting Penalties
Theft penalties are sorted by degrees according to the value of the items taken.
First (1st) Degree Grand Theft
If the stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more, then the defendant will be charged with 1st Degree Grand Theft, which is a 1st Degree Felony. First degree felonies have a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
2nd Degree Grand Theft
If the stolen property is valued between $20,000 and $99,999, then the defendant will be charged with 2nd Degree Grand Theft, which is a 2nd Degree Felony. Second degree felonies have a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
3rd Degree Grand Theft
If the stolen property is valued between $300 and $19,999, then the defendant will be charged with 3rd Degree Grand Theft, which is a 3rd Degree Felony. A charge of third degree grand theft also applies if the property take is a firearm, a motor vehicle, a commercially farmed animal, a fire extinguisher, any amount of fruit consisting of 2,000 or more individual pieces, any stop sign, construction signs, or anhydrous ammonia.
The penalty for a third degree felony is a maximum of 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
West Palm Beach Property Crime Defense Attorney
While property crimes seem like a minor offense, they are serious crimes that come with equally serious penalties that can and will affect your future. If you have been arrested for a property crime in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, Wellington, or anywhere else in the Palm Beach County area and area, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. When considering a lawyer as part of your defense strategy, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest.
Andrew Stine is a skilled and knowledgeable West Palm Beach criminal lawyer with over 10 years of experience. A former public defender and army soldier, Stine takes a militant, detailed, and proactive approach when handling criminal defense cases for his valued clients. He knows what it takes to fight and win your property crime case in Palm Beach County.
Attorney Andrew D. Stine has a road map of success that he places his clients on that have been arrested for grand and petit thefts. This road map to success is individually tailored to get the case dismissed with a Nolle Prose which allows the defendant to have a clean criminal background or be criminal record free. If you want a determined Criminal Defense Lawyer working for you in Palm Beach County or in any location of Florida contact West Palm Beach, Criminal Defense Lawyer, Andrew D. Stine for your free consultation.
To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your West Palm Beach area property crime case, call 561-832-1170 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.