When you think of “grand theft,” there is a good chance your mind goes to the popular video game Grand Theft Auto. These games may make grand theft look exhilarating, but here in the real world, these crimes are typically much less action-packed. Committing grand theft in the real world is also a lot more frightening than in the virtual world as it could come with some very real-life consequences.
Whether you or someone you care about is facing a criminal charge for grand theft, you should consider seeking legal counsel from an attorney you can trust to fight tirelessly for your rights. Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel has committed his 30+ year career to safeguarding the rights of Floridians accused of various crimes. Mr. Gabriel will handle your case using all the knowledge and skill developed over the span of his career.
What You Should Know About Florida’s State Laws Against Grand Theft
According to Section 812.01 of the Florida Statutes, grand theft is a felony crime that involves a person unlawfully taking another person’s property valued at $750 or more. The prosecutor will determine the value of the stolen items by taking into consideration the following:
- The original purchase price of the item(s)
- The amount or percentage of depreciation after the purchase of the property
- The quality of the goods at the time of receipt and their condition
If the prosecution cannot prove the property was valued at $750 or more, the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction for anything other than petty theft. In Florida, petit larceny is defined as taking property with a value of less than $750 for the purpose of larceny.
Grand theft is a “specific intent” crime, meaning that in order to prove the crime of grand theft in Florida, the prosecution not only needs to be able to show that the property taken was worth at least $750 but that the accused person also had intent.
Proving that the defendant intended to commit grand theft means showing that they had an objective to:
- Deprive the person of a right or interest in the property; or
- Seize the person’s property for personal use; or
- Put the property to use by a person who was not entitled to it.
Levels of Grand Theft Crimes in Florida
Under Florida law, there are three degrees of grand theft. As the value of the stolen property rises, so do the penalties you could face.
Third-Degree Grand Theft
Third-degree Grand Theft includes property totaling a value of $750 but less than $20,000 or:
- A commercially farmed animal;
- A construction sign;
- A controlled substance;
- A fire extinguisher;
- A firearm;
- A motor vehicle;
- A stop sign;
- Anhydrous ammonia;
- Any amount of citrus fruit consisting of 2,000 or more individual pieces of fruit;
- An estate planning documentation such as a will, codicil, or other testamentary instruments; or
- Anything of value that is taken by a restaurant or hotel worker during the course of their employment.
Third-degree grand theft is a third-degree felony in Florida, punishable by:
- Up to five years in jail
- Five years of probation
- A fine of up to $5,000
Second-Degree Grand Theft
Second-degree grand theft is committed when the property stolen is worth between $20,000 and $100,000 or:
- Is cargo for shipping that has a value of less than $50,000;
- Law enforcement equipment worth $300 or more; or
- Is emergency medical equipment worth $300 or more.
Grand theft of the second degree is a second-degree felony in Florida, punishable by:
- Up to fifteen years in jail
- Fifteen years of probation
- A fine of up to $10,000
First-Degree Grand Theft
First-degree grand theft includes stolen property worth over $100,000 or shipping cargo worth over $50,000. First-degree grand theft is a first-degree felony in Florida, punishable by:
- A minimum of 21 months in jail
- Thirty years of probation
- A fine of up to $10,000
Facing a Charge for Grand Theft? Contact an Experienced Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
Grand theft charges in Florida can come with severe penalties. Contact a seasoned Florida grand theft defense attorney as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights today. With over 30 years of experience, Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel knows what it takes to protect your future.
Start with a free consultation today by calling Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel at (561) 622-5575. You can also complete an online contact form to learn more.