Grand Theft in Florida
Pursuant to Florida Statute 812.014(2)(c), the crime of Grand Theft is committed when a person unlawfully takes another person's property that is worth $300 or more.
To prove the crime of Grand Theft, the State must prove property worth more than $300 was taken from another person with the intent to:
Deprive the person of a right to the property or benefit of the property; or
Appropriate the property for personal use or for the use of another person not entitled to the use of the property.
Different degrees of Grand Theft
There are three degrees of Grand Theft that can be committed in Florida. The degree of the crime and the corresponding penalties increase based on the value of the property taken.
Grand Theft 3rd Degree
For example, Grand Theft of the Third Degree is committed if the property taken is:
worth less than $20,000, but more than $300.
a will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument.
a motor vehicle.
If convicted of Grand Theft of the Third Degree, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties: a maximum sentence of five years in prison, five years or probation, or a $5,000.00 fine.
Grand Theft 2nd Degree
On the other hand, Grand Theft of the Second Degree is committed if the property taken:
Is worth less than $100,000, but more than $20,000.
Is shipping cargo worth less than $50,000.
Is emergency medical equipment worth more than $300.
If convicted of Grand Theft of the Second Degree, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties: a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison, up to fifteen years of probation, or a fine up to $10,000.
Grand Theft 1st Degree
Finally, Grand Theft of the First Degree is committed if the property taken is:
worth more than $100,000
shipping cargo worth more than $50,000
If convicted of Grand Theft of the First Degree, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties: a minimum sentence of twenty-one months in prison — up to thirty years in Florida state prison, up to thirty years of probation, and a fine of up to $10,000.00.
Some viable defenses...
It's the State's burden to prove the value of the stolen property. The value of stolen property is proven with evidence of the original purchase price, together with the percentage, or amount of depreciation since the property's purchase, its manner of use, and its condition and quality at the time it was stolen. If the prosecutor fails to prove the value of the property in questions, let's say $300.00 or more, then a charge of Grand Theft in the Third Degree will not stand.
"Being in a place"
Another defense to a charge of Grand Theft may be "mere presence." Under Florida law, mere presence at the scene of a crime, or mere knowledge that an offense is being committed, is not enough to prove the crime of Grand Theft.
Finally, because Grand Theft requires that the State Attorney show "an intent to steal," an accused's "good faith belief" that he or she was legally entitled to the property in question may constitute an effective defense against a Grand Theft charge.
The above defenses and many others may be available to you. Which is why it's critically important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to develop an effective defense strategies and hold the State Attorney's Office to their burden of proving the crime of Grand Theft beyond and to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt.
There is hope
If you or a loved one is arrested and charged with Grand Theft, please call our 24-hour telephone number 305-461-1066 to set up an appointment and free consultation so we can assess your particular case and provide you with the best legal advice on how to proceed. Your meeting with me will be strictly confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege.
I want to hear your side of the story.
State and Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
55 Merrick Way ~ Suite 212
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
305-461-1066 (24 Hours)
We are solely a Criminal Defense Law Firm. That's all we do and all we have done since 1987.