What is Theft?
Simply put, theft is stealing. It involves taking someone else’s property without their consent in order to deprive the victim of it permanently. According to Florida Statute 812.014, a perpetrator specifically commits theft in Kissimmee when they obtain or attempt to obtain another’s property for their own or someone else’s use without permission.
Types of Theft
Theft is subcategorized into two different crimes based on severity. A perpetrator may be charged with either petit or grand theft based on the type and value of stolen items, facing either misdemeanor or felony charges as a result.
Petit theft is the lesser of two theft offenses, though punishments are still severe. If a perpetrator commits petit theft, they steal property valued up to $300. Petit theft in Kissimmee is a misdemeanor offense divided into first and second degree charges.
- Second Degree Petit Theft- Stealing items worth under $100 results in second degree misdemeanor charges. If you’re convicted, you’ll face up to 60 days in prison and fines up to $500.
- First Degree Petit Theft – Stealing items worth $100 – $300 results in first degree misdemeanor charges. If you’re convicted, you’ll face one year in prison and fines up to $1,000.
The more severe of the two theft charges, grand theft carries weighty penalties. If a perpetrator commits grand theft, they steal property valued over $300. Grand theft in Kissimmee is a felony offense ranging from first to third degree charges.
- Third Degree Grand Theft – Stealing items that are worth less result in third degree charges. Third degree grand theft includes property worth less than $20,000, such as motor vehicles, firearms, construction site property and controlled substances. If you’re convicted, you’ll face up to five years in prison or five years of probation and $5,000 in fines.
- Second Degree Grand Theft – Slightly more severe, second degree grand theft involves higher-value items. Second degree grand theft includes stealing any property worth $10,000 – $20,000, as well as stealing medical and/or police equipment worth over $300. If you’re convicted, you’ll face up to 15 years in prison or 15 years of probation and $10,000 in fines.
- First Degree Grand Theft – the most severe of any grand theft crime, first degree grand theft may not only involve extremely valuable property, but also destruction. First degree grand theft includes stealing any items worth $20,000 – $100,000, but will also be charged to any theft crime in which a motor vehicle is used or which results in $1,000 in property damage. If you’re convicted, you’ll face up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
What is Fraud?
Fraud goes hand in hand with theft in Kissimmee, and is a prevalent crime here and in Florida state. Depending on severity, can be prosecuted at the state or federal level (sometimes both). It involves using lies, deception, falsehood or dishonesty to deprive someone of their money, property or legal rights. Fraud can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the nature of the crime.
Common Types of Fraud
- False Statements – Also known as financial statement fraud, this crime involves misrepresenting your financial status to secure a benefit. False statements might come in the form of inflating revenues or understating expenses. It’s a first degree misdemeanor, so perpetrators may face up to one year in prison and $1,000 in fines.
- Impersonation (Identity Theft) – Impersonation involves falsely representing one’s identity to gain some sort of profit, subject the victim to expenses made in their name or secure special privileges. It can be either a second or third degree felony. Third degree impersonation often involves stealing someone’s Social Security number, driver’s license numbers or credit card numbers and can result in up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. If a perpetrator benefits by over $5,000 from impersonation, the crime escalates to a second degree felony, with up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Check Fraud – Check fraud occurs when a perpetrator writes a check as a form of payment they know won’t clear. These checks can be fake (i.e. counterfeit) or written from a closed account, allowing the offender to obtain items or services ultimately without paying. It’s often considered theft, as the victim suffers a financial and property loss as a result. The crime may be charged at either the state or federal level and is a misdemeanor. Depending on the severity, check fraud might be either a first or third degree misdemeanor offense. If you’re convicted of first degree check fraud, you’ll face up to one year in prison and $1,000 in fines. If the value of the fraudulent checks is over $150, the offense is third degree check fraud and may result in up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Accused of Fraud or Theft in Kissimmee? Hire an Attorney.
If you’ve been accused of theft or fraud crimes, get the legal help you need. Smith & Eulo has successfully handled countless theft and fraud cases for clients, and we’ll do the same for you! Know your rights and get the right defense by your side. Find out more about how Smith & Eulo can win your case.