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Theft Crimes

Tampa Theft Defense Attorney

Alas, Babylon

Theft as a concept may sound simple, but theft as a crime can be complex.  This has been the case for thousands of years- look at the difference between the eighth of the Ten Commandments (“You shall not steal.”) and King Hammurabi’s Code of Laws (“[259] If any one steal a water-wheel from the field, he shall pay five shekels in money to its owner.”)  Theft in ancient Babylon and theft in 21st century Florida are the same in this way:  The devil is in the details.

Chapter 812 of the Florida Statutes addresses many theft and theft-related crimes.  The prohibitions on stealing from senior citizens are more strict.  There are rules against price gouging and stealing trade secrets.  Someone with a record of theft can be treated differently in subsequent theft prosecutions.  Consider hiring an experienced attorney who can help you navigate this nuanced and detail-oriented are of the law.

The experienced Tampa theft defense lawyers at the Elsea Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you defend your reputation and freedom throughout the criminal justice process. We will work with you to develop a strategy to defend you.

Theft Offenses in Florida

Stolen items such as firearms and motor vehicles will be the subject of felony charges regardless of their value.  The state of Florida categorizes the theft of most money and ‘ordinary’ items into petit and grand theft. The distinction between the two is the value of the property that is alleged to have been stolen.  The dollar amounts below are not carved in stone, as they were recently updated to keep up with inflation and with rising tide of criminal justice reform.

Petit Theft

  • Florida Statute § 812.014
  • Theft of property with a relatively low value (under $300)
  • Misdemeanor charge (First or Second-Degree)
    • Second-Degree misdemeanor if stolen value is under $100
    • First-degree misdemeanor if stolen value is between $100 and $300

Shoplifting

Grand Theft

  • Felony Charge
    • First-degree felony if value of stolen property exceeds $100,000
    • Second-degree felony if value of stolen property exceeds $20,000
    • Third-degree felony if value of stolen property exceeds $300
  • Theft of property with a value exceeding $300
  • Florida Statute § 812.014

Dealing in Stolen Property

Florida Property Crimes

Separate from crimes of theft are property crimes. In the state of Florida, these crimes are considered criminal acts which are not only intentional but result in the destruction or theft of another person’s property without consent. Just as with theft charges, these crimes can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case.

Arson

  • First or Second-degree felony
  • Damaging a structure through the intentional use of fire
  • Second-Degree felony
    • 15 years in prison
  • If someone is inside the building when burned, arson is a first-degree felony in Tampa, Florida
    • 30 years in prison

Burglary

Criminal Mischief

  • Common juvenile crime
  • Intentionally damaging someone else’s property
  • Vandalism
  • Graffiti

Penalties for Theft Crimes in Tampa, FL

  • First-Degree Misdemeanor
    • 1 year in jail
    • Up to $1000 in fines
  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor
    • 60 days in jail
    • Up to $500 in fines
  • First-Degree Felony
    • 30 years or life in prison
    • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Second-Degree Felony
    • 15 years in prison
    • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Third-Degree Felony
    • 5 years in prison
    • Fines up to $500
  • All theft crimes and convictions also face the possibility of paying restitution to reimburse the victim of the crime for whatever property was stolen or damaged.

Theft and Property Crime Resources

Finding a Tampa, FL Theft Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been charged with or accused of a theft crime, contacting an experienced theft defense attorney in Tampa is critical in getting a head-start on your defense and ensuring your rights remain protected. Contact the Elsea Law Firm today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

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