Employee Theft Attorney in Miami, FL
Whether you or a loved one has been arrested or is under investigation for employee theft charges, it is critical to consult with an experienced Miami employee theft attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. A conviction for employee theft can result in a criminal record, fines, and jail time. It can also have a lasting negative impact on your future employment and housing options. When so much is at stake, it’s essential to have a skilled theft attorney by your side to advocate for your interests. It’s important to work with an attorney with the expertise to guide you through the legal process and increase your chances of a favorable resolution.
What is Employee Theft?
In Florida, employee theft is not categorized as a distinct type of theft. Employee theft is simply theft that occurs between an employer and an employee. There are the same penalties and requirements for proving this crime as for grand theft or petit theft, depending on how much is taken. For example, if an employee is accused of stealing $750 to $5000 worth of property from their employer, they could be charged with third-degree felony grand theft. If the amount they are accused of stealing is less than $750, the charge would be misdemeanor petit theft.
Penalties of an Employee Theft Conviction
In employee theft cases, the severity of the penalties will depend on the value of the stolen property. In general, if the value of the stolen property is:
- Petit Theft of the Second Degree – If the value of the property allegedly stolen from the employer was less than $100, you could be charged with petit theft of the second degree. This is the lowest level of theft. If found guilty, the maximum punishment is 60 days in jail, six months of probation, and a fine of $500.
- Petit Theft of the First Degree – The crime is considered petit theft of the first degree if the stolen property is worth more than $100 but less than $750, a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalty for a conviction is up to a year in jail, one year of probation, and a fine of $1,000.
- Grand Theft of the Third Degree – If the property’s value is $300 or more but less than $20,000, the offense will be classified as grand theft of the third degree, a third-degree felony. A conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison or five years of probation and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Grand Theft of the Second Degree – Grand theft of the second degree, a second-degree felony, is when the property is valued between $20,000 and $100,000. A conviction can result in 15 years in jail, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
- Grand Theft of the First Degree – If the property’s value is $100,000 or more, the offense will be classified as a first-degree felony. If convicted, you could face up to 30 years in prison. 30 years of probation and a fine of up to $10,000. This is the most severe theft charge an employee can face.
Since thefts are considered “crimes of dishonesty,” prosecutors will take them very seriously. In addition, an employee theft conviction can have damaging collateral consequences, like difficulties finding a job and a place to live. You need the counsel of an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of resolving your case with a favorable outcome.
Defenses to Employee Theft
For employee theft charges in Florida, all the defenses available in a theft case will apply. Defenses can include:
- No intent to steal — To be convicted of theft, the prosecution must prove that the defendant acted with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. If the defendant did not have the necessary intent, they could not be found guilty of theft.
- A lack of evidence — To be convicted of theft, the prosecution must present sufficient evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution’s evidence is insufficient, the defendant may be able to use this as a defense.
- Consent — If the property owner consented to the defendant taking or using the property, the defendant could not be found guilty of theft.
- Incorrect value — If the prosecution has alleged that the defendant stole a certain amount of property, but the evidence does not support this, the defendant may be able to use this as a defense.
- Mistake of fact — If the defendant made a mistake of fact (e.g. they believed the property belonged to them), they might be able to use this as a defense to theft charges.
- Obtaining or using the property for lawful purposes — If the defendant obtained or used the property for a lawful purpose, they may not be guilty of theft.
- Necessity or duress — If the defendant acted out of necessity (e.g. to protect themselves or others from harm) or duress (e.g. under threat of violence), they might be able to use this as a defense to theft charges.
Experienced Miami Employee Theft Lawyer
By taking the immediate action of hiring an experienced Miami employee theft lawyer to defend yourself, you are minimizing the chances that your criminal case will have lasting consequences for your career, personal life, and reputation.
CALL US NOW for a CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION at (305) 538-4545, or simply take a moment to fill out our confidential and secure intake form.* The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry.
*Due to the large number of people who contact us requesting our assistance, it is strongly suggested that you take the time to provide us with specific details regarding your case by filling out our confidential and secure intake form. The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry in a timely and appropriate manner.
ALWAYS INVESTIGATE A LAWYER’S QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE BEFORE MAKING A DECISION ON HIRING A LAWYER