Theft, sometimes known legally as larceny, is a common arrest in Florida, and is a particularly frequent occurrence in Palm Beach County. The Florida definition of theft is when a person knowingly obtains or uses or seeks to obtain or use the property of another person with the intent to deprive the property's owner of its benefits and/or assign the property to the alleged offender's own use or to the use of another unauthorized person.
Charges of theft in the Palm Beach County area can arise out of a mistake, a misunderstanding, or an accident. No matter the circumstances of your theft case in the West Palm Beach area, the penalties and consequences you will face for a conviction of theft charges are by no means minor. An experienced Palm Beach County property crime defense attorney can help you fight to protect your rights and your future in your West Palm Beach area theft case.
West Palm Beach Theft Defense Lawyer
The consequences for a theft conviction, be it petit theft or grand theft, can reach further than the jail time and fines you receive into your future – causing problems with things like credit and employment. If you have been arrested on theft charges anywhere in Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. to begin defending yourself immediately.
When considering an attorney as part of your defense strategy, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest. Experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Andrew Stine is a former public defender and army soldier who takes a militant and proactive approach to the defense needs of his clients in the Palm Beach County Area.
With over 10 years of experience with criminal defense clients like you, Andrew Stine knows what it takes to get your theft charges in the Boca Raton area reduced or dismissed. To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your theft charges in the West Palm Beach area, call 561-832-1170 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.
Definition and Penalties for Florida Petit Theft
Florida has two types of theft offenses – petit theft and grand theft. When you are accused of theft, you will be assigned a charge based on specific circumstances in your case, such as the value and type of the property allegedly stolen. Petit theft is generally charged when the value of the property is of lower value. This offense is defined by Fla. Stat. § 812.014 as a person who commits theft on items of financial value up to $300. The most common type of petit theft in Palm Beach County is shoplifting.
For items valued up to $100, petit theft is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines. It is considered first-degree misdemeanor petit theft if the item is valued at $100-$300. First-degree misdemeanor petit theft carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $1,000 in fines in Florida. If the petit theft you are convicted of making is for gasoline, you could face a six-month driver's license suspension for a first offense and a year driver's license suspension for any subsequent offense. Working with a West Palm Beach theft defense attorney could be the difference between facing these penalties or a more favorable outcome like dropped charges.
Florida Grand Theft Defined
Grand theft is the larceny offense charged when the property in question is valued over $300, is a certain type of property, and/or when aggravating circumstances like the use of a motor vehicle are present. Simple grand theft is a third-degree felony and involves theft of property with a value of $300-$20,000. It is also a third-degree grand theft offense when the property allegedly stolen is anhydrous ammonia, a commercially-farmed animal (such as cows or fish), more than 2,000 citrus fruits, a fire extinguisher, a firearm, a motor vehicle (grand theft auto), from a construction site, a stop sign, or a last will and testament or related document.
Second-degree grand theft is charged when the value of the property stolen is from $20,000-$100,000. It is also second-degree felony grand theft if the property is cargo worth $50,000 or less that is in transition between the shipper's loading platform and the recipient's receiving dock, or is law enforcement or emergency medical equipment worth over $300.
Law enforcement equipment is defined by Fla. Stat. § 812.014 as any property, device, or apparatus used by a police officer or other law enforcement official during his or her official business in an emergency vehicle like a police car. Emergency medical equipment is any device used to provide emergency services or care in a facility or vehicle that provides such care, such as a clinic or ambulance.
First-degree grand theft is a first-degree felony, and the most serious and punitive of all grand theft offenses. Simple first-degree grand theft is when the property stolen is worth $100,000 or more. It is also a first-degree grand theft offense to commit any of the following:
- Theft of a semitrailer deployed by law enforcement
- Theft of cargo in transition between shipper and receiver valued at $50,000 or more
- Cause $1,000 or more in property damage in commission of any theft offense
- Use a motor vehicle as an instrument other than a getaway car, such as to break in
If the grand theft charge is committed during an officially-declared state of emergency like a hurricane, the offense is increased a degree. All grand theft offenses are felony charges that come with serious penalties and life consequences. The services of an experienced Palm Beach County larceny defense lawyer are highly recommended to protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome.
Penalties for Florida Grand Theft in Palm Beach County
Not only are the presumptive penalties for grand theft particularly punitive, the classification of grand theft as a felony offense means that even after you meet the requirements of your sentencing you will still face consequences. All felonies in Florida, including grand theft, come with the loss of certain civil rights like the right to vote and the inability to pursue certain educational and professional opportunities.
Additionally, grand theft of fish or other aquaculture species from a certified facility comes with an additional $10,000 fine. Contact an experienced grand theft defense attorney if you face any of the following consequences for a West Palm Beach area grand theft charge:
Third-Degree Felony Grand Theft
- 5 years in prison
- $5,000 fine
Second-Degree Felony Grand Theft
- 15 years in prison
- $10,000 fine
First-Degree Felony Grand Theft
- 30 years in prison
- $10,000 fine
Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | Petit or Grand Theft Defense Attorney in Palm Beach County
If you have been arrested and charged with a petit theft or grand theft offense like shoplifting or grand theft auto in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Tequesta, or anywhere else in Palm Beach County, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately after your arrest. Andrew Stine has 10 years of experience in criminal defense and knows what it takes to effectively fight your theft charges. Your first consultation with Andrew D. Stine, P.A. is free, so call 561-832-1170 today and schedule yours.