If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with grand theft, it is critical to consult with an experienced Miami grand theft attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced grand theft lawyer from our firm will strive to minimize the effects and ramifications of your criminal case to allow you to put the case behind you and move on with your professional and personal lives.
What is Grand Theft?
The most common type of grand theft charged in Florida is when someone takes something of value from another person, either temporarily or permanently, and the property taken has a value greater than $750. If the property is worth less than $750—even by a penny—it cannot be charged as a felony and must be charged as a misdemeanor.
That one penny can make a huge difference in the possible sentences people can face when they are charged with theft crimes. The lowest degree of grand theft, where the value is between $750 and $20,0000, is a third-degree felony. That means it has a possible five-year maximum prison sentence. On the other hand, if the property is only worth $749.99, it is a first-degree misdemeanor (petit theft) making the maximum possible sentence one year in jail. Depending on the amount, retail theft can also be classified as a felony or misdemeanor.
Raising the issue of value doesn’t mean that we assume our clients actually stole the property at issue. We mention it because it demonstrates how important it is that attorney you choose to represent you in your grand theft case has the necessary experience and knowledge to critically investigate the State’s case against you and make all the necessary arguments in your defense.
Most (but not all) cases involving grand theft are based on the value of the property. There are three degrees of grand theft:
- Grand Theft in the First Degree (The property value is $100,000 or more)
- Punishment: up to 30 years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000
- Grand Theft in the Second Degree (The property value is less than $100,000, but more than $20,000)
- Punishment: up to 15 years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000
- Grand Theft in the Third Degree (The property value is less than $20,000, but $750 or more)
- Punishment: up to 5 years in state prison and a fine up to $5,000
As explained above, although value is usually what determines the degree of grand theft, the actual property that was allegedly stolen can determine the degree of theft. When a firearms or motor vehicle is allegedly stolen, for example, the theft is classified as grand theft in the third degree—a third-degree felony. Also, the type of property together with its value sometimes determines the degree of theft. Most of the time though, the value alone is what controls the degree of theft.
What are the Defenses to Grand Theft?
Besides the issue of value discussed above, there are other defenses someone can raise when they are charged with grand theft. Among them are:
- Good faith belief of ownership or right to possess the property
- Consent was given by the property owner
- Equal Ownership
- Involuntary intoxication
- Voluntary Abandonment
- Valueless Property
Regardless of the defense, it is critically important that you hire an experienced and competent grand theft attorney to represent you.
Contact an Experienced Miami Grand Theft Attorney
Over the years, we have represented hundreds of clients charged with grand theft. There is a good chance that we have dealt with your type of case and have represented clients who shared similar needs and concerns that you may have. Feel free to browse through the results section of our site for a representative sample of some of our past cases, and the results we have achieved for our clients.
By taking the immediate action of hiring an experienced Miami grand theft attorney 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 securely encrypted intake form. The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry., or simply take a moment to fill out our
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