How to Avoid a Criminal Record When Charged with Grand Theft
According to an article in WPTV News, Boynton Beach Police arrested a man for stealing a car with a newborn baby inside.
A family called the police from a Shell gas station on the corner of Congress Avenue and Boynton Beach Boulevard around 2:45 p.m. after a man broke into their SUV and stole it from outside the gas station while they were inside. The family was hysterical as their 3-week-old baby was still inside the vehicle.
The police report stated that a witness tried to follow the suspect onto Lawrence Road but later lost track of him. Deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office were able to catch the suspect a short time later after a brief chase at 6th Avenue South and Federal Highway in Lake Worth.
The man who stole the SUV was identified as Lester Edward Schwalm, 38.
They say he has a revoked driver’s license, listing Saturn Court in Port St. Lucie as his address. He will be charged with grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding and abduction. Police say Schwalm is also a suspect in several retail thefts throughout Palm Beach County.
The baby is safe and back with its family.
Grand Theft Defense
In Florida, theft of monetary value of more than $300 is considered grand theft and is considered a felony. You can be subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years.
Many people being accused of theft charges have resolved their cases by participating in a diversion program called pre-trial intervention. If you are taking responsibility for the theft charge, your best option is to pay restitution. This can be expensive (depending on the theft), in addition to fines and court costs.
A criminal defense attorney can help you with this process. Being charged with grand theft can have an extremely detrimental effect on the rest of your life, especially if it ends up on your criminal record. A criminal defense lawyer is really the only way to resolve this situation with the best possible results.