Theft is one of the most commonly reported crimes not only in Florida but nationwide. According to the 2022 Florida Statutes, the definition of theft is when an individual “knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to… deprive the other person of or benefit from the property, (and/or) appropriate the property to the use of any person not entitled to the property.” 

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Common Types of Property Crimes in Palm Beach Gardens

While an arrest for theft is common in Florida, it is actually just one of several kinds of property crimes. What many individuals don’t know is that property crimes, depending on the type of crime and value of the property involved, can be considered either a misdemeanor or felony offense.

Common types of property crimes in West Palm Beach and Broward County include:

  • Petit (or petty) theft
  • Retail theft, also known as shoplifting
  • Grand theft
  • Grand theft of a motor vehicle
  • Embezzlement
  • Robbery

Other crimes which are also considered larceny-theft include pocket-picking, purse-snatching, theft of bicycles, and theft of motor vehicle parts and accessories. 

Embezzlement Conviction

Embezzlement and fraud are closely related concepts. Embezzlement is a specific type of fraud involving theft through fraudulent activity. Thus, why an embezzlement conviction in Florida is charged as either Petit or Grand Theft (depending on the monetary value of the property). 

The penalties for embezzlement in Florida vary depending on the conviction. If charged with embezzlement, the crime may be categorized anywhere ranging from a second-degree misdemeanor up to a first-degree felony offense. 

There is no statute under Florida law specific to embezzlement. The crime will be prosecuted under Florida’s property theft statute. If convicted of embezzlement in Florida it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney to best represent your case. 

What is the Penalty for Petty Theft in Palm Beach Gardens

Petit theft is theft where stolen property is valued under $750 and the victim is not a merchant or retail store. This is typically a second-degree misdemeanor charge. However, if you have a prior conviction, this will increase the severity of the charges and the level of punishment. Jail time and fines up to $500 are possible.

If the value of the stolen property is over $100 but less than $750, it is a first-degree misdemeanor offense. If convicted, an offender faces up to one year in jail and possible fines of up to $1000.

As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I will put together the best defense strategy to have your case dismissed. If you are a first-time offender, as your petit theft defense attorney I will help you qualify for a diversion program and have your case dismissed. In order to qualify for these programs it is necessary to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney representing your case. 

Shoplifting Convictions Will Come Back to Haunt You

What many people don’t know is that a conviction of shoplifting can have serious consequences and will remain on your record, affecting your ability to obtain employment and damaging your overall reputation. If you have been accused of shoplifting, you will need the assistance of an aggressive shoplifting defense attorney. Shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor or petit theft crime unless the value of the property involved is worth over $750. Once the value exceeds $750, it is considered a felony charge in Florida. 

As your shoplifting lawyer, I will construct the best possible defense to have your case dismissed or charges reduced. When possible, I will work towards having your records expunged or sealed. If you are a first-time offender, I will seek to have you placed in a special diversion program.

Grand Theft is a Felony

Grand theft is a felony crime that can result in first-degree, second-degree, or even third-degree charges. This is based on the value of the stolen property and other factors, such as whether force was used, the type of property involved, and the past history of the accused. Some key factors by type of felony charges are:

  • Third-degree felony grand theft. This includes retail theft of $750, theft of a motor vehicle, and theft of property valued between $300-$20,000.
  • Second-degree felony property crimes. Retail theft with property valued over $3,000 and grand theft of property valued between $20,000-$100,000​ are second-degree felonies.
  • First-degree felony grand theft. This includes grand theft of property valued at more than $100,000, arson of a structure that is or could be occupied, and armed burglary.

If you have been charged with felony theft, you need to contact a grand theft defense attorney immediately. A conviction can result in up to five years in jail for third-degree charges, up to 15 years for second-degree charges, and up to 30 years for first-degree charges. Your future is at stake. As an experienced grand theft lawyer, I can help you get your charges reduced or your case dismissed. I will review the merits of your case and determine the best strategy.

Stealing a Car is a Felony Offense

Grand theft auto, under Florida Law, involves the theft of a motor vehicle without the use or threat of violence. When violence or the threat of violence is involved in the theft, it is treated as carjacking which is a first-degree felony charge. Grand theft auto is a third-degree felony charge.

If you have been charged with grand theft auto, you need an experienced grand theft auto defense attorney. Conviction in Florida can result in up to five years in jail and fines of up to $5,000. If this is your first offense, I may be able to help you qualify for a special program that may dismiss the case.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Palm Beach Gardens for a Theft Charge?

Conviction of petit theft or grand theft will have serious consequences on your future. Contact us now. I can review your case and provide you with possible defense strategies for your particular situation and help you avoid conviction and a permanent mark on your record.

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If you've been accused of theft in Palm Beach Gardens, our criminal defense attorney can help. Click the button above to schedule an appointment online or call us at 561.671.5995.