Miami Grand Theft Defense Attorney
Although many individuals think of grand theft in terms of an action-adventure video game, it is a serious crime in Florida. Whether you have been charged with burglary, robbery or motor vehicle theft, a conviction for grand theft can alter your life, resulting in a prison sentence, fines and a permanent criminal record. In addition to losing your freedom, there may also be permanent damage to your reputation. When your future is in jeopardy, it helps to have an accomplished criminal defense attorney on your side.
Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC designs innovative defense strategies for individuals facing grand theft charges in South Florida. Our prior experience as public defenders gives us unique insights into the methods prosecutors will use against you. Well-versed in the applicable laws and the rules of criminal procedure, we have a proven track record of successfully defending our clients inside and outside of the courtroom.
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What is Grand Theft in Florida?
Under Florida law, grand theft is defined as the unlawful taking of property valued at more than $300 for the purpose of (1) depriving the owner of a right to, or benefit of, the property or (2) appropriating the property for personal use or for the use of another person not entitled it. There are three degrees of grand theft:
- Grand Theft in the Third Degree — The unlawful taking of property with a value between $750 but less than $20,000, or the taking of a will, or other testamentary instrument, or of a firearm or motor vehicle. Classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, probation and a fine up to $5,000.
- Grand Theft in the Second Degree — The unlawful taking of property with a value between $20,000 but less than $100,000, or of shipping cargo worth less than $50,000, or of medical equipment with a value greater than $300. Classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by a up to 15 years of prison, probation and fines up to $10,000.
- Grand Theft in the First Degree — The unlawful taking of property with a value greater than $100,000, or of shipping cargo valued at more than $50,000. Classified as a first-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence ranging from 21 months to 30 years, probation and a fine up to $10,000.
If you are facing charges of grand theft, you should contact the legal team at Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC. From our offices in Miami, we frequently defend clients against grand theft charges in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida.
Potential Defenses Against Grand Theft Charges
In order to gain a conviction, prosecutors must be able to prove the following elements of grand theft beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant unlawfully and knowingly obtained, used or attempted to obtain or use, the property of another
- The defendant did so with the intent of temporarily or permanently (1) depriving the owner of his or her right to the property, or any benefit from the property or (2) appropriating the property for his or her own use or the use of another not entitled to it
- The property was valued at $300 or more
Although prosecutors aggressively pursue grand theft cases to bolster their tough on crime stance, we have the knowledge and skills to even the score. Successful defenses to grand theft we have previously utilized include:
- An Alibi — The defendant was not at the scene when the crime occured
- Lack of Intent — The defendant had a good faith belief that he she owned the property, had a possessory interest in the property, or had a joint ownership interest in the property
- Obtaining or Using for Lawful Purpose — The defendant had a legal right to take or dispose of the property, or believed he or she had such a right
- Consent — The defendant had the owner’s consent to take the property
- Mistake of Fact — The defendant acted under the mistaken belief that the property was his or her own property
Why Choose Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC
Because grand theft is a serious crime that is vigorously prosecuted in Florida, it is crucial to have first-rate legal representation. Our attorneys will work to understand the circumstances that led to your arrest and work tirelessly to build a successful defense. While our objective is to win an acquittal, we will offer you an honest assessment of the strength of the evidence against you. If necessary, we may seek to have the charges reduced. In the event of a conviction, we will consider whether pursuing an appeal is worthwhile. Above all, we will always put you in a position to make the best decisions about your future. Being accused of grand theft is a terrible experience, but you’re not alone. Remember, Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC is here to help.
Contact our office as soon as possible to set up a free consultation.