In Florida, grand theft is the term used when someone takes property intentionally and without permission. If you stand accused of grand theft, then you need an aggressive St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney to defend you.
Grand Theft Defined
Section 812.014 of the Florida Statutes defines grand theft as consisting of the following elements:
- The defendant knowingly and unlawfully used, obtained, or tried to obtain or use another person’s property.
- The defendant acted with the intent to deprive the victim of property either temporarily or permanently or with the intent to appropriate the property.
- The value and nature of the property hit certain thresholds, generally more than $300. According to statute, “Value means the market value of the property at the time and place of the offense or…the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the offense“—which may be less than how much the owner paid for it.
One missing element can preclude a conviction for grand theft. For example, a defendant who accidentally picks up someone’s property can’t commit grand theft because he didn’t knowingly take it.
When you are involved in an auto theft, your punishment will depend on whether you are charged with grand theft in the first, second, or third degree, which largely hinges on the amount of property you took. Consider the following:
Grand theft in the third degree. Courts can generally convict you of third-degree grand theft if the property costs more than $300 but less than $20,000. Third-degree grand theft also applies to specific stolen items, such as fire extinguishers or firearms, regardless of their value. Punishment can include five years in prison or five years of probation along with a $5,000 fine.
Grand theft in the second degree. Generally, courts can convict you of second-degree grand theft if you steal property valued at between $20,000 and $100,000. You face 15 years in prison or 15 years of probation along with a $10,000 fine.
Grand theft in the first degree. Generally, courts can convict you of first-degree grand theft if you steal property valued at $100,000 or more. As punishment, you can face 30 years in prison along with a $10,000 fine.
Contact a St. Petersburg Criminal Law Attorney Today
Grand theft is not a minor matter. Even if authorities accuse you of stealing something worth only a few hundred dollars, you can end up with a criminal record and possibly prison time, so hire an aggressive St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney. At Khonsari Law Group, Rohom Khonsari is a former prosecutor who knows the ins and outs of grand theft defense. Call us for your free consultation at (727) 269-5300 or complete our online contact form.