Experienced Theft Defense Attorneys in Tampa, Florida
Committing an act of theft is a serious crime under Florida law. If a person is convicted of theft, they could be penalized with fines, incarceration, and other penalties under the law. At the law offices of Trombley & Hanes, our Tampa theft lawyer can provide aggressive legal representation throughout every step of your criminal defense. Reach out to our law office as soon as you are arrested to get the legal defense you need and deserve.
Since 1977, Trombley & Hanes, P.A., and its trusted Tampa criminal defense lawyers have provided full-service state and federal legal defense strategies for individuals and businesses in Florida and throughout the U.S. — including those charged with theft.
Whether this is your first arrest or a subsequent theft arrest that may potentially be increased to a felony, these crimes are taken very seriously by prosecutors. The penalties may include fines, incarceration, and additional hardships if convicted. Our Hillsborough County theft defense attorneys in Tampa provide aggressive legal representation throughout your case to help minimize the consequences so you can put these charges behind you.
Our insightful and practical legal advice stems from over 110 years of combined skill and dynamic experience to produce actual results for your case — just as we have for hundreds of clients before you. Contact our Florida theft defense attorneys for help today.
How is Theft Defined in Florida?
As found in Florida Code Section 812.014, a person commits an act of theft when they knowingly use or endeavor to use the property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of their right to the property or “appropriate the property” to their own use. In other words, taking another’s property with the intent to deprive them of the property or make it yours without the other person’s consent is considered theft in the eyes of the law.
Florida Statute 812.014 defines theft as:
- The unlawful taking or using of property valued at $750 or more.
- The intent to deprive the owner of their rights to the property.
The statute also defines:
- Grand theft: The unlawful taking or using of property valued at $750 or more.
- Petit theft: The stealing of property valued at less than $750.
- Grand theft of a firearm: A third degree felony.
- Petit theft that can be transformed into grand theft: Stealing a motor vehicle, firearm, will, codicil, bee hive, farm animal, fire extinguisher, citrus fruit, or stop sign.
More simply, theft is taking another’s property to deprive them of it or make it yours without the other person’s consent.
Petit theft is characterized as a second-degree misdemeanor if the items are valued at less than $100 and a first-degree misdemeanor if the items are valued between $100 and $750.
Conversely, grand theft is characterized as a third-degree felony when the property is valued at $750 but less than $20,000; a second-degree felony when the property is $20,000 and $100,000; and a first-degree felony is valued at $100,000 or more.
Each theft charge is unique to the person, the type of property stolen, and how much it was worth. No matter your criminal history, or the level of theft you have been charged with, our skilled theft defense lawyers in Tampa can help outline your case to pursue the best outcome for your legal circumstances. Contact us today to learn more.
What are the Penalties for Theft in Florida?
The penalties for theft are determined by the degree of theft committed, which is determined by the value of the property involved. For example, first-degree petty theft, which is committed when the property is valued up to $299, can result in a period of incarceration of up to one year and a $1,000 fine. Second-degree petty theft, which includes theft of property valued under $100, is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
Grand theft, on the other hand, involves property valued at between $300 and over $100,000. For first-degree grand theft involving property of $100,000 or more, a person can be penalized by up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
The penalties for theft in Florida range widely, with the most significant factor affecting the potential consequences being the amount in question. The greater the value of the money or property the defendant allegedly stole, the harsher the consequences they are likely to face.
In Florida, the consequences for petit theft may include:
- Second-degree petty theft can result in a period of incarceration of up to 60 days and a $500 fine.
- First-degree petty theft can result in a period of incarceration of up to one year and a $1,000 fine.
In Florida, the consequences for grand theft may include:
- Third-degree felonies can result in incarceration of up to five years, five years of supervised probation, and a $5,000 fine.
- A second-degree grand theft can result in incarceration of up to 15 years in state prison. Fifteen years of supervised probation and up to a $10,000 fine.
- First-degree grand theft can result in up to 30 years of incarceration, 30 years of supervised probation, and fines of up to $20,000.
To learn more about the depth of your theft charges and how a conviction will impact your freedom and future, contact our experienced theft defense lawyers in Tampa today. We will outline your case, fully explain your legal rights and options, and devise a strategy to pursue the best outcome for your unique circumstances, so you can confidently move forward.
What are the Most Common Defenses for Theft Charges in Florida?
All Florida theft cases, as are the individuals who face these charges, are unique. A prominent legal team must review each case to determine the best defense strategy for each client’s exclusive needs.
Common theft defense strategies may include:
- Lack of evidence.
- Lack of intent to deprive the person of their property.
- The property rightfully belonged to the accused.
- Unlawfully obtained evidence.
- Wrong person.
If you have been charged with theft in Florida, do not let law enforcement or the prosecutor’s office intimidate you into providing a statement before you have an attorney to protect your best interests. You have the right to remain silent and to speak with an attorney. Invoke both and contact our trusted criminal defense lawyers in Florida, who have been producing actual results for real people for more than 110 combined years. We will ensure that your Constitutional rights are protected throughout the process while we do everything possible to improve your case outcome.
How a Tampa, Florida Theft Lawyer Can Help
We will review the prosecution’s evidence against you and make a recommendation about whether you should defend yourself against charges or work with the prosecution to negotiate a plea bargain. We’ll ensure that your Constitutional rights are protected throughout the process. We’ll do everything possible to improve your case outcome. Our lawyers have years of experience and a reputation of excellence.
Our Florida, Tampa Theft defense attorneys represent clients throughout the state of Florida in the following ways:
- Administrative and regulatory actions.
- Defense contracting crimes.
- Drug Crime
- Government fraud
- theft, and fraud.
- False claims
- Forfeiture Proceedings
- Juvenile Crime
Call Today to Start Building Your Defense
Exercising your right to an attorney is one of the most important things that you can do when you are facing theft charges. When you call the law office of Trombley & Hanes, our Tampa theft lawyer will start working on your case immediately. Reach out to our law office by phone or online directly today to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions for Our Theft Defense Attorneys in Tampa, Florida
What Should I Do if I Have Been Accused of Theft in Florida?
If you have been accused of theft, do not attempt to explain your actions to law enforcement without retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney. Do not take the prosecution’s word for what your charges mean to your future. Contact our criminal defense attorneys in Tampa as soon as possible to discuss your case and receive legal advice.
What is the Role of Intent in Theft Cases?
Intent is a crucial element in theft cases. Prosecutors must prove the accused had the specific intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property. It could be a viable defense if your actions were accidental, mistaken, or lacked the required intent element.
Can Someone Be Charged with Theft for Taking Something Accidentally?
Since criminal intent is a critical element of theft charges, accidentally taking something without intending to steal may not meet the criteria for theft. If so, return the item promptly and take responsibility for any misunderstandings.
Can I Be Charged with Theft if I Did Not Physically Take Anything?
If you are found to have exercised control over someone else’s property without their permission and with the intent to deprive them of it permanently, you could still be charged with theft.
What is the Difference Between Theft and Robbery?
Theft involves taking someone’s property without using force or the threat of force. Conversely, robbery involves taking someone’s property using power, intimidation, or danger. Robbery is generally considered a more severe crime due to the potential for violence.