After being accused of a crime, many defendants find themselves wondering “now what?” They want to know what is going to happen next, and what sentencing they might expect.

There are several possible outcomes to a theft charge. What penalties, if any, you receive will all depend on what kind of theft you are being accused of, and if you have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side.

What Is Theft?

The term “theft” is used by the state of Florida to refer to a number of crimes involving the unauthorized taking or use of another individual’s property. Specifically, the Florida statutes states that theft occurs when:

“A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:

(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.

(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.”

When trying to charge someone with theft, there are several details that the prosecutors must first establish. They must be able to prove that the individual had specific intent to take or use the property in question. They must also prove that there was criminal intent.

What Are the Possible Penalties?

How an individual is prosecuted for theft will largely rely on the value of the property that was stolen. In most cases, any item stolen under $300 in value is considered to be petit theft. This is a misdemeanor charge and carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Once someone is accused of grand theft, however, the possible penalties become much more severe.

Grand Theft of the Third Degree: Up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Grand Theft of the Second Degree: Up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Grand Theft of the First Degree: Up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Why Hiring an Attorney Is Important

When you or someone you love has been accused of a crime, it is vital that you seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. They will be able to guide you through the complex legal system and work with you to receive the best outcome possible. At the Khonsari Law Group, we fight for your freedom. If you or someone you love has been charged with theft, give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.