Grand Theft Attorney in Miami, FL
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)
- Third Degree Grand Theft (The property value is less than $20,000, but $750 or more) Maximum Penalty: up to 5 years in state prison and a fine of up to $5,000 (Third-Degree Felony)
As explained above, although the value is usually what determines the degree, but the actual property that was allegedly stolen can sometimes determine the degree of theft. When a firearm or motor vehicle is allegedly stolen, for example, the theft is classified as grand theft in the third degree—a third-degree felony, also known as “grand theft auto.” Also, the type of property, together with its value, can sometimes determines the degree of theft. Most of the time, though, the value alone is what controls the degree of the crime. A criminal defense attorney from our law firm can give you a free case evaluation of your theft charge and answer any further questions you may have about theft under Florida law.
What are the Defenses Against Grand Theft?
Besides the issue of value discussed above, there are other defenses someone can raise when facing a grand theft charge. 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 criminal attorney to represent you. A criminal conviction can negatively impact just about every facet of your life.
Contact an Experienced Miami Grand Theft Attorney
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 result in a criminal record, jail time, and lasting consequences for your career, personal life, and reputation.
Over the years, our law office has 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 theft offense cases and the results we have achieved for our clients.
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.
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