In Florida, grand theft is a felony offense that can cost you dearly in the form of steep fines, jail time, restitution, and several lost opportunities that free citizens enjoy. The threshold that constitutes grand theft is extremely low in the state; the value of just $300 is all it takes to elevate petit theft to grand theft. The crime of stealing items that are valued at below $300 constitutes petit theft, which is a first degree misdemeanor crime. At The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, attorney Brian Gabriel has over 25 years of experience defending property crimes including felony grand theft in West Palm Beach.
If you are convicted of grand theft in Palm Beach, Florida, you are looking at felony charges with serious consequences. Section 812.014 of the Florida Statutes defines these types of crimes. In order to meet the legal definition of Grand Theft, the following conditions must be met:
1. The defendant knowingly and unlawfully obtained or used or sought to obtain or use another’s property
2. The defendant intentionally took property to temporarily or permanently (a) deprive the victim of his or her right to the property or its benefits, or (b) appropriate the property of the victim to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it; and
3. The property was worth $300 or more.
All grand theft crimes are felony offenses. Penalties escalate based on the value of the allegedly stolen property. The more the property was worth, the more severe the penalties will be if you are convicted.
Grand Theft in the 3rd Degree
Stealing property valued between $300 and $19,999 results in a charge of grand theft in the third degree, which is a felony. This can also occur when the property stolen is a will, a firearm, motor vehicle, commercial farm animal, fire extinguisher, stop sign, anhydrous ammonia, or controlled substance.
If you are charged with third degree grand theft, penalties may include a prison sentence of 5 years or 5 years of probation, and fines up to $5,000. You may also be required to pay restitution, in addition to other consequences.
Grand Theft in the 2nd Degree
Stealing property valued between $20,000 and $99,999 elevates theft to 2nd degree grand theft. This also occurs under a few unique circumstances, such as when the property stolen is medical equipment used during emergencies worth at least $300, or the property, worth at least $300, belongs to law enforcement and was taken from an authorized vehicle.
If you are charged with second degree grand theft, penalties could include a prison or probation sentence of 15 years max, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Grand Theft in the First Degree
You are looking at a grand theft charge in the first degree when the property taken is worth over $100,000 among a few other criteria:
● The property is a semitrailer that was deployed by a law enforcement officer
● The property is cargo valued at $50,000 or more that has entered the stream of inter/ intrastate commerce
● The offender uses a motor vehicle, such as a car or motorcycle, to help him commit the offense, and winds up damaging someone else’s property
● The offender causes property damage of more than $1,000 while committing the crime.
First degree grand theft may lead to penalties of up to 30 years in prison; fines may be no more than $10,000. You may also need to pay restitution in addition to other consequences. In addition, you can lose your job, future professional opportunities, ability to vote, scholarships, driver’s license, and more if you are convicted.
If you have been charged with grand theft in West Palm Beach, Brian Gabriel is the criminal defense lawyer you need on your side. With over 25 years defending the criminally accused, he can develop a compelling case to attain the best possible outcome. Call The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel at 561-622-5575 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary legal consultation.