There are differing degrees of theft; if arrested and charged, it is crucial to know what you’re facing in terms of penalties. A theft, as defined under Florida State Statute 812.014, is when someone takes, uses or attempts to take or use the property of someone else that they’re not entitled to. The more expensive the item taken, the steeper the fines and penalties. Calling The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley at (561) 746-7076 is the first step to take when you are charged with the crime of theft.
When someone is arrested for 1st degree Grand Theft, the State of Florida is alleging that the defendant committed one of the following:
- Stole property worth $100,000 or more;
- Stole a cargo item valued more than $50,000;
- Stole a semitrailer deployed by a law enforcement officer;
- Used a vehicle as an instrument to the crime and caused more than $1,000 of damage.
This charge can land you up to 30 years in a Florida State prison and a $10,000 fine.
The prosecution will look at your prior criminal history to calculate your score sheet for sentencing. Each felony is ranked at a certain level according to its degree. Grand Theft in the first-degree is classified under offense level 7 which, under Rule 3.992(b), is given 56 points as a primary offense. Even if you had no prior convictions, you would still score prison. The Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet Sentence Computation states when your total sentencing points are greater than 44, you would score prison.
Penalties for grand theft could be enhanced by other factors. For example, if the theft is directly related to the exploitation of an elderly person or involved the taking of government funds such as Medicaid, the penalties become even more severe.
It is important to fight each charge that you are accused of to prevent your past from affecting your future. When you schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley, we will explain in depth what impact your new arrest will have in terms of sentencing if you have priors.
If you are charged with Grand Theft in the 2nd degree, the State of Florida is alleging that the accused has done one of the following:
- Has stolen property valued anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000;
- Has stolen cargo valued at less than $50,000;
- Has stolen law enforcement equipment worth $300 or more;
- Has stolen emergency medical equipment worth $300 or more.
Under section 921.0022 of the Criminal Punishment Code, Grand Theft in the second-degree is classified within offense level 4, which scores 22 points. Although technically you could receive up to 15 years in a Florida State prison, if you have a clean background, a judge most likely would sentence you to probation, fine and order you to make restitution for the amount taken.
For a conviction of Grand Theft in the 3rd degree, the prosecution must prove one of the following in order to achieve a guilty verdict:
- Defendant stole property worth $300 up to $20,000;
- Defendant stole a fire extinguisher;
- Defendant stole a motor vehicle;
- Defendant stole a firearm;
- Defendant stole a will or codicil;
- Defendant stole any commercially farmed animal;
- Defendant stole 2,000 pieces or more of citrus fruit;
- Defendant stole a construction sign;
- Defendant stole a stop sign;
- Defendant stole anhydrous ammonia;
- Defendant stole any amount of a controlled substances listed under section 893.02
Third-degree Grand Theft is a level 1 offense and scores 4 points. You would likely be facing probation and a fine if this is your only criminal history. An individual charged with a third-degree felony can receive a maximum of 5 years in Florida State Prison, so you can see the range of penalties is great.
Petit theft, also known as Petty theft, is classified as either 1st degree or 2nd degree misdemeanor. It is a very common charge and the state will prosecute you aggressively. Second-degree Petty Theft is when the property taken is worth less than $100 and first-degree Petty Theft is when the value of what was taken is between $100 to $300.
It is crucial when you are charged with a theft of any degree, that you make an appointment with The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley so we can fight hard for the best result for your case. Call us today.