If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with grand theft, it is critical to consult with an experienced grand theft attorney in Miami as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced criminal defense lawyer from our law firm will strive to minimize the effects and ramifications of your criminal charge 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 case in Miami-Dade County is when someone knowingly takes something of value from another person without permission, 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 grand theft offense, 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, shoplifting can also be classified as a felony or misdemeanor petit theft charge.
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 the theft lawyer you choose to represent you in your case has the necessary experience and knowledge to critically investigate the prosecutor’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 alleged stolen property. According to Florida Statute 812.014, there are three degrees:
First Degree Grand Theft (The property value is $100,000 or more) Maximum Penalty: up to 30 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 (First-Degree Felony)
Second Degree Grand Theft (The property value is less than $100,000, but more than $20,000) Maximum Penalty: up to 15 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 (Second-Degree Felony)