Hiring a skilled theft defense lawyer in Sanford, FL, is crucial if you face theft charges. With the expertise of lawyers at Smith & Eulo, we have defended clients against all theft charges, from shoplifting to grand theft auto. We know what it takes to get the best possible outcome in your case, and we’re ready to fight for you.
We’ll review your case and help you understand your options to make the best decision for your future. Call us now to schedule your free consultation.
What is theft?
Theft is defined as the unlawful taking of another person’s property without their permission or consent with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of the use or benefit of the property.
Based on the amount of the stolen property, a person might face theft charges ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony in Florida.
Different types of theft and their penalties in Florida
There are different degrees of theft in Florida, each carrying its penalties:
- Petit theft is the unlawful taking property valued at $300 or less. It is typically a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine
If the stolen item has a value of less than $100, the crime is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Theft of more than $300 in value is considered grand theft. It’s a crime with three levels of severity:
- If the property is valued at more than $750, but less than $5,000, the offense is classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine
- If the value of the stolen property is between $5,000 and $20,000, you will be charged with grand theft in the second degree, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
- If the value is more than $100,000, you get charged with grand theft in the first degree, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
There are also enhanced penalties for certain types of theft offenses, such as:
- If the theft is committed during a state of emergency, such as a hurricane, the offense classified as a second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- If the victim of the theft is 65 years of age or older, the offense can be charged up to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- If the property stolen is a firearm, the offense is classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
What should I do if accused of theft in Sanford, Florida?
If you are arrested for theft, you can do the following:
During the arrest
- Remain calm and do not resist the arresting officer
- Do not say anything to the police officer
- Ask for a lawyer immediately
- Ask to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
- Do not say anything to the police or anyone else until you have spoken to a lawyer.
- Gather any evidence you can that will help your case
- Find witnesses who can support your version of events
- Hire a qualified and experienced Sanford, FL, theft defense lawyer
Possible defenses against theft charges in Sanford, Florida?
Some possible theft defenses in Sandford, Florida, include:
- You simply had temporary possession of the property and never intended to deprive the owner of it permanently.
- You honestly thought you were entitled to the property. This is a common line of defense for defendants under the false impression that they were the legal owner of the property in question.
- You did not knowingly take the property because you were unaware that you were taking someone else’s property.
- Your possessions are taken. A possible defense to theft accusations is demonstrating that you were the victim of a theft.
- Before filing charges, the property may be returned to its original owner.
How can an experienced Sanford, Florida, theft defense attorney help?
A skilled theft defense attorney in Sanford, FL, may be an invaluable resource for anybody facing theft charges in the Sunshine State.
A qualified attorney in the field of theft law will be able to question the prosecution’s case, negotiate with the prosecutor, and fight for a positive resolution on your behalf, making a difference while fighting serious criminal allegations.
Make sure you’re not wrongfully convicted
A theft conviction can result in jail time, fines, and a criminal record that can impact your life for years. The best way to protect your rights and obtain the best possible outcome in your case is to hire an experienced theft lawyer in Sanford, FL.
At Smith & Eulo, we will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case and work tirelessly to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
In addition to serving Sanford, FL, and Seminole County we also have offices: