Brandon Lawyers Defend Floridians Accused of Theft in the Tampa Bay Area
Aggressive defense to all charges from shoplifting to grand theft
If you are accused of theft, even if you are not convicted, you can face serious consequence in your life. Your name may be placed into a national database, so employers doing background checks will know you were arrested for a “crime of dishonesty.” If you are convicted, sentencing depends on many factors, such as the value of the property stolen, the means used to accomplish the theft, and any prior convictions. At Faught & Faught, P.A., we provide aggressive defense for clients accused of theft crimes. The prosecution must prove specific intent for theft, and we challenge their assertions to raise reasonable doubt in the minds of a judge or jury.
Types of theft crimes in Florida
Theft is a broad category of crime involving the illegal taking of another person’s property. In Florida, a theft can be classified as:
- Petit — The property in question is worth less than $300. Petit theft is generally a misdemeanor, but it can be classified as a felony if the accused has been convicted two or more times of any theft.
- Grand — Theft of any property worth more than $300 is grand theft. Grand theft can be of the first, second, or third degree depending on the value and nature of the property and the identity of the victim.
Examples of theft crime cases we handle include:
- Shoplifting — Store security is naturally zealous about stopping shoplifters, which may result in unfair accusations against customers who made honest mistakes such as thoughtlessly placing a piece of merchandise in their pocket while distracted. Shoplifting is often an impulse crime committed by persons with an underlying psychological issue that must be resolved. A criminal conviction is rarely the appropriate outcome in such cases.
- Larceny — Larceny is the most basic theft crime: a nonviolent taking of another person’s property for personal gain. Larceny is often a crime of opportunity that occurs when a person comes across an item that is out in the open and unguarded. Persons who take property they believe to be abandoned can find themselves accused of larceny.
- Receiving stolen goods — It is only a crime to receive stolen property when the person receiving the goods knew or reasonably should have known the property had been stolen. Not knowing the nature of the property is a defense, but the defendant’s ignorance must be credible.
- Embezzlement — This crime occurs when a person who has control of property held in trust for another converts the property to their own use.
- Extortion — This is theft accomplished through a threat of physical violence or emotional harm. Blackmail is a common term for extortion, where one person threatens to publicize another’s dark secret unless some form of payment is made.
- Fraud — Theft by deception can take many forms, such as insurance fraud, Medicare or Medicaid fraud, tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud, passing bad checks, identity theft, and credit card fraud.
- Robbery — This is a serious theft crime because it is accomplished through force or fear. Robbery is also a crime of violence, so the penalties are much greater than those for mere property crimes.
- Burglary — Although burglary is often associated with theft, the offense actually consists of entry into a structure with the intent of committing another crime. The entry itself need not be illegal, and the offense contemplated need not be theft. A person can commit burglary by entering a home or business to commit vandalism, arson, rape, assault, homicide, or any other criminal act. As a defense to a charge of burglary, an accused party can assert he or she had no intention at the time of entry to commit any crime.
Even if allegedly stolen property is found in your possession, you may have defenses to a theft charge. Unfortunately, authorities often try to convince a suspect that cooperating with them will produce a better result than asserting their rights. This is almost never true. Having an experienced and dedicated attorney on your side throughout the legal process is the surest way to get a favorable outcome. The criminal defense attorneys at Faught and Faught work hard to challenge the prosecution’s case against you and to deliver the best results possible under the facts of your case.
Contact our Brandon, FL law firm for effective defense to theft charges in Tampa
If you have been arrested for a theft crime, Faught & Faught, P.A. can provide the aggressive representation you need to secure a favorable outcome. Call 813-681-4246 today or contact our Brandon, FL office online to schedule a consultation. Please be advised there may be a consultation fee for initial jailhouse visits.