Stealing is considered a serious crime, and the extent of the penalties a person faces in Florida depends entirely on how extreme the theft was and whether or not the theft was accompanied by other crimes.
Theft in and of itself is defined as the taking of another person’s property by an individual with the intention of depriving the rightful owner or with the intention of making the object in question their own for their own personal use or for the use of a third party.
There are two main categories of theft, petit theft, and grand theft. Naturally, the consequences of grand theft are more severe than for those who commit petite theft or petty theft. If the stolen goods are worth less than $100, then it is considered petty theft and is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor crime. If the amount of stolen goods is more than $100, but less than $300, then the crime is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree and the criminal will be punished accordingly.
In both cases, individuals can be imprisoned for a few months up until a year and be fined up to $1000.
Individuals who get caught fro grand theft will not be let go so easily. Grand theft is a little bit more complicated then petty theft as well. In order for a theft to be classified as grand or a felony, it has to include theft of more than $20,000. However, if the money was stolen from inside a person’s home it can come under this category even if only a few hundred dollars were stolen.
Some other factors which make a crime fit the category of grand theft or a felony include the theft of:
- Guns and firearms
- A person’s legal will
- Farmed animals
- Controlled substances
- Items from construction sites
- Emergency medical equipment
If a person used their vehicle to commit the crime and they injured other individuals along the way as well, they will have additional charges alongside their charges of theft and they will have to pay accordingly.
When should I call a lawyer?
A person should get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer in Naples, Florida as soon as they can after they are arrested or charged for committing theft. Whether a person is guilty or innocent, it always helps to have an attorney by their side when they find themselves in such a situation. Legal professionals are able to use their knowledge of the law and legal expertise to have ones charge erased, or reduced at the very least.
The penalties for theft are not light and a person should not take their only chance to fight in court lightly. An attorney will be able to provide a person with the legal tools and assistance they require in order to fight a strong case.