Theft charges are entirely based on the perceived value of the stolen property. Grand Theft charges are felonies and range from third degree to first degree felony. One of the key ways to fight this charge is to argue that the value of the stolen property is inflated and thus reducing the charge and the penalty. Also establishing that there was no intent to actually steal is a very effective defense.
Florida statute 812.014 states: “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.”
For grand theft to occur the value of the property must be over $300. There are different categories of grand theft ranging from a third degree felony to a first degree felony:
Punishable by up to 5 years in prison, the value of the property is at least $300 but not more than $20,000.
Punishable by up to 15 years in state prison, the value of the property is between $20,000 and $100,000.
Punishable by up to thirty (30) years in state prison, anything of value of over $100,000 OR a motor vehicle was used during the theft and damage occurred to the property of another person.
Stealing a car, truck or other motor vehicle is a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in state prison.
The most common outcome with these crimes is restitution with either probation or pre-trial diversion program. In the majority of cases victims just want to get compensated for the value of their property. If you are facing this crime it can be comforting to know that there are options available to avoid having a conviction, going to jail or even doing probation. If you do not have any prior arrests and can pay back the restitution at your sentencing then many times an experienced attorney can negotiate to have you enter a diversion program. Upon completing the program your case will be dismissed and you will be eligible to have your record expunged.
If you or a family member has been charged with grand theft in Miami you need an experienced criminal lawyer to fight for you. Attorney Antonio Jimenez is a former prosecutor and has been defending these charges for years. Please contact him today for a free personal consultation.