West Palm Beach Petty and Grand Theft Defense Attorney
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.
At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, we take a proactive approach in defending clients who have been charged with theft. Even a conviction for petty theft can be very detrimental to your future. A misdemeanor shoplifting conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. In addition, one petty theft conviction will build on another, and your third offense will be charged as a felony.
Many theft charges can be resolved through a diversion program called pre-trial intervention. If you want to take responsibility for the theft charge, we can take the money you would otherwise pay us and use it instead to pay restitution, fine, and court costs. Our fees for this would be less than defending you in a court trial, and we can often resolve the charge without you getting a criminal record. If we are successful in getting the charges dismissed, we can have your record sealed, so that if you are ever asked if you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, you can confidently answer no.
If you did not commit the crime of theft, we can prepare an aggressive defense and force the state to prove its case.
Civil penalties in shoplifting cases
Florida has a civil statute allowing stores to collect triple damages from people caught shoplifting. If you have been arrested for shoplifting from one of the major department stores, you may receive a letter from a law firm demanding payment to resolve the store's civil case. If you receive such a letter, you should bring it to a lawyer immediately. Do not pay the amount requested because that could be used as an admission in your criminal case. As your lawyer, we will draft a response to the letter protecting your rights and will resolve the civil case after the conclusion of your criminal case.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.