The state of Florida defines theft as a person knowingly obtaining, using, or endeavoring to obtain or to use the property of another party with intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive the other party of a right to the property or a benefit from the property, or appropriate the property to the alleged offender’s own use or to the use of any party not entitled to the property. The degree of a theft crime is often dependent on the value of the property involved.
The consequences of a conviction for a theft offense extend far beyond just possible imprisonment and fines. In addition to the damaging effect of having a conviction reflected their criminal records, alleged offenders may also be liable for civil damages.
If you were arrested for any kind of theft offense in Florida, it will be in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. Terrezza Law defends clients all over Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Walton County, and Okaloosa County.
Pensacola criminal defense attorney John Terrezza is committed to pursuing the most favorable outcome for every person he represents. Call (850) 764-5291 or complete an online contact form to have him review your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Crimes that are classified as retail theft (such as shoplifting) under Florida Statute § 812.015 or general theft crimes under Florida Statute § 812.014 are typically classified as either petit theft or grand theft . Petit theft is a misdemeanor offense and grand theft is a felony offense.
The degree of misdemeanor or felony matches the degree of petit theft or grand theft a crime is classified under, and degree depends on the value of the property involved:
Not all theft crimes are subject to these classifications. Some of the other specific theft crimes that people are accused of with different classification structures include, but are not limited to:
In addition to needing to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that alleged offenders knowingly and unlawfully obtained, used, or endeavored to obtain or to use the property of alleged victims, the Florida Standard Jury Instructions also require prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that alleged offenders did so with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the other party of that property or misappropriate it.
Intent is often very difficult for prosecutors to prove, which is why the Standard Jury Instructions recognizes several inferences provided in Florida Statute § 812.022 that effectively serves as proof of an alleged offender’s intent. An inference that an alleged offender knew or should have known that property was stolen can be drawn from the following inferences:
Florida Auto Theft Intelligence Unit (FATIU) — FATIU is a statewide nonprofit organization comprised of more than 200 members, including law enforcement investigators, insurance companies, rental vehicle companies, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Department of Insurance and Fraud, and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The organization helps prosecutors with auto theft matters and works with legislators on proposed legislation concerning auto theft and insurance fraud.
National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) — NASP is a nonprofit organization that was originally founded in 1977 as Shoplifters Anonymous, Inc. The organization focuses on the study and prevention of shoplifting. On this website, you can learn more about NASP’s education programs and community services.
Have you been arrested or are you being investigated for allegedly committing a theft offense in Florida? Contact Terrezza Law right now for help exploring all of your legal defense options.
John Terrezza is a Pensacola criminal defense attorney serving clients accused of property crimes in Navarre, Milton, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach, and many surrounding areas. You can call (850) 764-5291 or fill out an online contact form to take advantage of a completely free initial consultation that will let him review your case.