Theft is a criminal offense punishable by law and occurs when a person takes or uses another person’s property.  Theft is proven when an individual knowingly obtains or uses the property of another with intent to deprive the other person of the a right to the property or with intent to appropriate the property to his or her own use.

Every state has varying laws regarding theft and its classification.  Contact a criminal defense attorney in your state to find our about the laws affecting you.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the law and how it applies to you.

Florida law classifies theft under two categories: petit theft and grand theftPetit theft is the lowest level theft offense.  Petit theft of the second degree occurs when the property stolen is valued at less than $100.  A conviction of petit theft of the second degree is punishable by a jail sentence up to 60 days and can carry a fine of up to $500.  Petit theft of the first degree occurs when the property stolen is valued at $100 or more, but less than $300.  A conviction of petit theft of the first degree is punishable by a jail sentence up to a year and can carry a fine of up to $1,000.

Grand theft is a more serious level theft offense.  Grand theft of the third degree occurs either when the stolen property is valued between $100 and $300 and is taken from in or around another person’s house, when the property is valued at less than $20,000, or when the property stolen includes wills, firearms, a motor vehicle, a commercially farmed animal, a fire extinguisher, a stop sign, anhydrous ammonia, a controlled substance, property from a construction site, or more than 2,000 pieces of citrus fruit.   A conviction of grand theft of the third degree can carry a jail sentence of up to 5 years and can carry a fine of up to $5,000.  Grand theft of the second degree occurs either when the stolen property is valued between $20,000 and $100,000, when the property is cargo that has entered interstate or intrastate commerce and is valued at less than $50,000, when the property is emergency medical equipment valued at $300 or more or when the property is law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more.  A conviction of grand theft of the second degree can carry a jail sentence of up to 15 year and can carry a fine of up to $10,000.  Grand theft of the first degree occurs either when the stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more, when the property is a semitrailer deployed by a law enforcement officer, when the property is cargo that has entered interstate or intrastate commerce and is valued at more than $50,000, or when the offender used a motor vehicle as an instrument of the crime and caused more than $1,000 worth of property damage.  A conviction of grand theft of the first degree can carry a jail sentence of up to 30 years and can carry a fine of up to $10,000.  A successful conviction of a theft offense can lead to other consequences.  One of those consequences includes a driver’s license suspension that can last up to a year.

If you have been charged with a theft offense, contact a criminal defense attorney to learn about your legal options.  A criminal defense attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case.  Miami criminal defense attorneys Christopher Pagan and Julian Stroleny have the experience necessary to handle your case.  Call Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. today at 305-615-1285 to schedule a free consultation to find out how your case can get resolved.  Visit us online at www.pslaw.org for more information on all of your criminal defense needs.