The definition of theft in Florida is when a person knowingly obtains or uses, or seeks obtain or use, the property of another person with the intent to do one of the following:
- Deprive the owner of the property or its benefits, or
- Appropriate the property for his or her own use, or for the use of another who is equally not entitled to the property.
Theft can be accidental, or the person committing or charged with theft may not think the punishments attached are significant. However, this is far from true as a theft conviction comes with hefty fines and jail time. Additionally, a theft conviction shows up on your criminal record and can be considered a crime of dishonesty by potential employers, landlords, and other persons who look at your background check.
An experienced Brooksville property crime defense lawyer can fight the theft charges against you and make sure your rights are protected in the process. When considering an attorney as part of your criminal defense strategy, it is best to call him as soon as possible after your arrest.
Attorney for Theft Crimes in Brooksville, FL
Theft may seem a relatively harmless, low-level offense, but it comes with penalties that can affect you the rest of your life. If you have been arrested for misdemeanor petit theft or felony grand theft anywhere in Hernando, Citrus, or Sumter County or the surrounding areas, including Brooksville, Weeki Wachee, High Point, Hernando Beach, Hill 'n Dale, Inverness Highlands, Sugarmill Woods, Lecanto, Wildwood, Lake Panasoffkee, or Bushnell, contact Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. as soon as possible after your arrest to immediately begin building your defense.
Ashley Aulls was raised in a legal-oriented family and has over 15 years of his own experience in criminal defense. He understands what it takes to win a case, and how to properly treat a client with respect in the process. Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. is founded on the idea that every client deserves to be educated on what's happening with their case as well as have open and direct communication with his or her attorney.
To find out what Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. can do for your misdemeanor or felony theft case in Brooksville or the surrounding areas, call Ashley Aulls at (352) 593-4115 and schedule your free initial case evaluation.
Definition of Petit Theft in Florida and Penalties
Petit theft is the term used when the item or items involved are of lesser financial value, and when certain aggravating circumstances are not present. Fla. Stat. § 812.014 defines petit theft. Generally, petit theft is a second-degree misdemeanor when the financial value involved is under $100. For items of financial value between $100 and $300, petit theft is a first-degree misdemeanor. Items over $300 in value is considered grand theft.
Second-degree misdemeanor petit theft is punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. First-degree misdemeanor petit theft carries the maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Additionally, upon conviction for petit theft, you will have to provide your fingerprints by placing them on the written guilty judgment in front of the judge.
If you are convicted of petit theft of gasoline, you will also face a driver's license suspension of six months for the first offense, and one year for any subsequent offense. An experienced theft defense lawyer in Hernando County will fight to protect your rights and your future from such sanctions.
Definition of Grand Theft in Florida
Grand theft, as defined by Fla. Stat. § 812.014, is a charge designated for theft of property that is higher in financial value, theft of specific property, of if certain aggravating circumstances are involved. These factors are what determines the degree of grand theft. For instance, third-degree grand theft is when the property stolen is valued financially at $300 to $20,000, or is any of the following items:
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Any commercially-farmed animal, such as horses or aquaculture species (i.e. fish)
- Citrus fruit, such as oranges, in excess of 2,000 individual fruits
- Fire extinguisher
- Motor vehicle, when carjacking is not involved
- Property from a construction site identified by proper signage
- Stop sign
- Will, as in last will and testament
Second-degree grand theft is when the property stolen is valued at $20,000 - $100,000, is cargo in transition between the shipper's loading platform and the recipient's receiving dock which is valued at less than $50,000, or is law enforcement or emergency medical equipment valued at more than $300.
Emergency medical equipment is any mechanical or electronic device used to provide emergency services and care such as screening that is in a facility or vehicle with the purpose of providing such care. Law enforcement equipment means any property, device, or apparatus used by any police officer or other law enforcement officer during his or her official business in an emergency vehicle, such as a police car.
It is considered first-degree grand theft if the property stolen is valued at $100,000 or more, is a semitrailer deployed by a law enforcement officer, or is cargo valued at $50,000 or more in the stream of commerce between the designated loading platform and receiving dock. It is also a first-degree grand theft offense to cause $1,000 or more in property damage while committing any theft, or if the offender uses a motor vehicle as an instrument in the theft other than as a getaway car, such as to forcibly open a store. All grand theft offenses are felonies, and an experienced property crime defense lawyer in Brooksville is highly recommended as a major part of your defense strategy.
Penalties for Grand Theft in Florida
The degrees of felony for grand theft in Florida coincide with the degrees named in the defense. Third-degree grand theft is a third-degree felony, second-degree grand theft is a second-degree felony, and first-degree grand theft is a first-degree felony. The maximum statutory penalties for these offenses are as follows:
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
If the grand theft offense involves theft of fish or other aquaculture species from a certified fishery or other aquaculture facility, there is an additional $10,000 fine no matter the degree of the offense. Also, if the grand theft is committed during a state of emergency, such as might be declared in a hurricane, that is considered an aggravating circumstance that will increase the offense a degree. All felonies in Florida have additional sanctions like the loss of certain civil rights and loss of the ability to apply for certain government aid. An experienced criminal defense lawyer serving theft crimes in Hernando County can fight to defend your rights and your future from a felony grand theft conviction.
Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. | Defense Attorney for Theft in Hernando County
If you have been charged with petit theft or grand theft anywhere in Hernando County, Sumter County, Citrus County, or the surrounding areas, contact experienced theft crime defense lawyer Ashley Aulls. Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. will show you what it means to be treated with respect and as a part of the equation while relentlessly defending your rights and future. Your first consultation is free, so call (352) 593-4115 today and schedule yours.