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How serious are theft charges in Florida?

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Facing criminal charges of any kind is a threat to your future. No matter what you are up against, a conviction can leave a mark on your criminal record that can affect the rest of your life. You would be wise to take any type of criminal allegation seriously and work to build a strong defense.

This is true when the charges against you involve either petty theft or grand theft. You may think that your charges are not that serious or that you can easily fight back, but Florida laws take a strong stance against property crimes. Your future interests are worth protecting, which you can do by getting help and starting on your defense strategy as soon as possible.

Do you know what you are up against? 

Theft involves a person taking another person’s property with the intent of retaining it permanently and without consent. Theft charges can range in type and severity, and what you will need to do to protect your interests depends on the nature of your individual case. There are two different types of theft, grand theft and petty theft, and the differences in these charges are as follows:

  • Petty theft – First degree petty theft involves the theft of property worth between $100 and $299, and it comes with the potential for jail time. Second degree petty theft is for stolen property worth less than $100.
  • Grand theft – These charges involve stolen property worth a significant amount of money. First, second and third degree grand theft carry the potential for jail time and expensive fines.

It is not always easy to prosecute theft crimes. The prosecution must present evidence that a person intended to take the property of someone else. You have the right to challenge case against you, including any evidence that alleges your motive or the intention behind your actions.

Your best defense

You can start on your defense strategy as soon as possible after your arrest or as soon as you suspect there may be a problem. By taking quick action, you can build the best defense possible for your individual situation in a timely manner. There is no time to lose when it is your personal freedom and your future opportunities on the line.

Theft charges are quite serious, but you do not have to face them alone. You are innocent until proven guilty, and you have the right to defend your interests and fight back against any violations of your constitutional rights.