Miami Theft Crimes Attorney
Charged With Theft In The Miami Area? Call Valiente Law Today
Theft crimes are a serious matter in Florida, with shoplifting, burglary, robbery, embezzlement, fraud, and buying, receiving, or possession of stolen property accounting for thousands of arrests each year. Because a conviction can lead to harsh punishments, including lengthy prison sentences, fines, probation, and restitution, it is essential to consult with an experienced theft crimes attorney if you are accused of such a crime.
Valiente Law, a premier criminal defense law firm serving clients in Miami, Broward County, and Westchester, has extensive experience handling theft crimes. Knowing that a conviction can negatively impact your future, we provide knowledge, skill, and an aggressive criminal defense strategy.
Theft crimes in Florida are treated very seriously. They are treated seriously because what is worse to people than a thief? Right? So, in order to protect our clients in order to make sure that they have a good future ahead of them, even if they are accused of a crime, we try to mitigate that as much as possible. If we are able to get a case dismissed, we are going to get it dismissed. We are able to go to trial and get an acquittal, we are going to do that because it’s so important for a person’s reputation to not be labeled as a thief. Here at Valiente Law we have a lot of experience handling theft crimes. We’ve gone to trial numerous times on theft charges ranging from petty theft, which is retail theft. There’s grand theft, burglaries, robberies, all of those types of crimes we have experience in. So we are competent, knowledgeable, we are able to defend you against those charges. Don’t let them tell you that they have a video, that you’ve signed a document, that you’ve confessed. There’s way around that and there’s ways to defense you despite the evidence. So give us a call and let’s talk about your case.
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Theft Crime Classifications in Florida
Generally, theft occurs when a person knowingly obtains, uses or attempts to use another person’s property with the intent to either temporarily or permanently deny the owner of the property.
In particular, there are two ways theft is charged in Florida, based on the value of the property that was taken:
- Petit (petty) Theft — Occurs when the value of the property is less than $300, charged as a first or second degree misdemeanor, punishable by 60 days to one year in jail, fines up to $1,000, or both.
- Grand Theft — Occurs when the value of the property is greater than $300, charged as a felony, with punishments of up to 30 years in prison based on the value of the property taken & Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code guidelines.
Types of Theft Crimes
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Valiente Law handle theft cases involving:
- Shoplifting — Referred to as retail theft, this involves taking any merchandise, property, money or negotiable instruments (e.g., gifts cards), or altering or removing a security device, price tag, label or universal product code (UPC). Shoplifting can be charged as petit or grand theft depending on the value of the stolen property.
- Burglary — Occurs when a person enters or remains in a dwelling, structure or conveyance with the intent to commit a criminal offense. Burglary can be charged as a first, second, or third degree felony, punishable by imprisonment, probation, and fines.
- Robbery — The taking of money or property from another person’s possession in which there is the use of force, violence, assault or putting the person in fear. If the robbery involves the use of a weapon, it is charged as a first-degree felony, otherwise robbery is a felony in the second degree.
- Check Forgery (Uttering) — Occurs when a person falsely makes, alters, forges, or presents a check, with the intent to defraud another person, a third-degree felony.
- Embezzlement — Involves the theft of assets by an individual in a position of trust or responsibility, (e.g. financial advisor, executor, caretaker, family member), for managing or monitoring the assets of another person. Embezzlement is charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the stolen assets.
- Dealing in Stolen Property — Occurs when a person either (1) traffics in, or attempts to traffic in, property he or she knew or should have known was stolen, a second-degree felony, or (2) initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages or supervises the theft and traffics in the property, a first-degree felony.
- Motor Vehicle Theft — Knowingly taking or using another person’s motor vehicle with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive him or her of the vehicle, charged as a first, second, or third-degree felony depending on the value of the stolen vehicle.
- Identity Theft — Illegally obtaining and using another person’s personal information with the intent to commit fraud or deceit. In federal court, this is typically charged as possession of an unauthorized access device.
- Credit Card Fraud — A type of identity theft Involves using a credit card, debit card, or any other form of credit or credit information, to make purchases, withdraw funds from an account, or otherwise obtain financial gain with the intent to avoid repayment.
Florida Theft Penalties
The punishments for theft in Florida are based on the value of the stolen property and the nature of the crime. If the stolen property is valued at less than $100, for example, the charge is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail. If the property is valued at $3,000 and two or more people are involved in the crime, however, it is considered a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The penalties are elevated for theft of property valued at higher amounts, while penalty enhancements may apply in cases involving forcible taking, a firearm or gang activity. Also, regardless of amount, any theft from a construction site is a felony.
Miami, Miami Beach, and Miami-Dade County Theft Defense Attorney
Being charged with a theft crime is a serious matter in Florida, and a conviction could lead to imprisonment, fines, and probation and long-lasting damage to your reputation. In addition, you may lose your driving privileges as well as future professional opportunities. This is why you would be well-advised to enlist the services of Valiente Law if you have been accused of a crime of this nature.
Our legal team will take the time to understand the circumstances that led to your charges, fully explain your rights, and work tirelessly to build a successful defense. Although we are committed to winning an acquittal, we will give you an honest assessment of your chances for success at trial. Depending on the circumstances, we may move to have the charges reduced. In the event of a conviction, we will determine if there are grounds for an appeal and continue to fight for your rights.