When accused of a theft crime, your best option is to choose a lawyer who understands the Florida courts and has experience dealing with these cases. The State of Florida recognizes three different types of theft cases including theft, burglary and robbery.
What is Theft in Florida?
Under Florida law, theft generally refers to taking or using someone else’s property while having the requirement of criminal intent. The law states that a person commits theft when they temporarily, “borrow,” or permanently take or use, or intends to take or use, another person’s property.
However, there are many different classifications of theft and each has varying levels of severity and punishment. It is important to understand the specific type of theft you are being charged with in order to better your defense.
Petit Theft – This is the lowest level of theft. For your case to classify as petit theft, the property stolen must be valued less than $300. Petit theft is a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Grand Theft of the Third Degree – Theft of items such as firearms, commercially farmed animals, wills, or stop signs constitute grand theft of the third degree in Florida. However, Theft of the Third Degree generally refers to theft of:
– Property valued between $100 and $300, taken from in or around someone’s home
– Property valued at greater than $300 and less than $20,000
Grand Theft of the Third Degree can carry a sentence of up to five years and fines of up to $5,000.
Grand Theft of the Second Degree – This generally refers to theft of property valued between $20,000 and $100,000, but can also include the theft of emergency medical or law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more. This can carry up to a 15 year sentence and up to $10,000 in fines.
Grand Theft of the First Degree – The most severe type of theft in Florida is the theft of property valued at $100,000 or any grand theft in which the offender uses a motor vehicle as an instrument of the crime and causes more than $1,000 worth of damage to property. A grand theft of the first degree charge can mean up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
What is Burglary?
Burglary is often associated with the terms “breaking and entering” or “home invasion.” However, as often thought, it is not only breaking into a home. Burglary is unlawfully entering a home, a structure, or conveyance (motor vehicle, boat or plane) with the intent to commit a crime therein. This could include reaching into a car window to steal something or to strike someone inside the vehicle.
There are three different degrees of burglary that a person can be charged with, including:
Burglary in the third degree – This is the least serious burglary charge, and it occurs when someone enters a structure or conveyance, but not a dwelling, that is unoccupied to commit the crime. The individual must not commit assault or battery and must be unarmed.
Burglary in the second degree – This has all the same criteria as burglary in the third, however the structure or conveyance must be occupied at the time of the crime. Entering a dwelling, whether it is occupied or unoccupied, is also a second degree offense.
Burglary in the first degree – The most serious charge, burglary in the first degree, is committed if an individual;
– Commits assault or battery upon another person
– Is armed or becomes armed
– Uses a motor vehicle to assist in the commission of the offense, other than as a getaway vehicle, and causes damage to the home or structure
– Causes damages in the excess of $1,000
Even a failed attempt of burglary is a serious charge that can result in a felony. Depending on the seriousness of the crime you can face anywhere from 5 years to life in prison. The best way to protect yourself when being charged with burglary is to immediately contact Khonsari Law Group.
What is Robbery?
In Florida, robbery is classified as taking money or property from its rightful owner using force, violence, or threats. Due to the violent nature of robbery, it is considered a very serious crime in the State of Florida.
If you are charged with robbery, you are facing a felony charge; however, the penalty will vary depending on if a weapon was present during the crime. The presence of a weapon can result in a felony of the first degree carrying a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Even without a weapon involved, a robbery offense can result in a second degree felony charge, carrying a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
The Importance of Hiring a Lawyer
When making any important decision, you always consult experts. If you had a medical issue, you would not try to treat it yourself, you would go to a doctor who has experience treating patients with your condition. The same principal applies to a legal issue. When you are arrested, law enforcement will try everything in their power to make their jobs easier by getting your confession, even if you are innocent! Law enforcement and the prosecution will be working to prove your guilt, so it’s important that you have someone who is in your court to protect your rights.
Schedule Your Free Legal Consultation
At Khonsari Law Group, we understand that your freedom is more important than anything, and we will fight aggressively to defend it. The most crucial aspect of any theft charge is hiring an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible. After being arrested, take advantage of your rights and don’t speak to anyone until you’ve spoken with your lawyer. Having excellent representation for your case can mean the difference between jail time and your independence. If you have been charged with robbery, the Khonsari attorney team has the experience and dedication you need to make sure your rights are upheld. Contact us today for your free consultation or call us at: (727) 269-5300.
“The background, education and experience of Rohom Khonsari has provided us with a respected officer of the court who can defuse incidents before they develop into legal struggles in court rooms. His knowledge of the law and its nuances combined with his experience in prosecution and defense provides a strong offense in legal defense. The expertise and Rohom’s empathy reduces the anxieties of the struggles. We experienced the best outcome possible.”