What to Know if You’re Arrested for Theft in Tampa, Florida
To be convicted of theft, Florida law requires that you knowingly took the property of someone else with the intent to deprive them of their property or take the property for your own use. Because theft is a crime of dishonesty, you could be prevented from working in any position that involves money handling. Any criminal conviction on your record can affect you for years to come, which is why it’s crucial to retain an experienced Tampa theft lawyer.
At Faulkner Law Group, PLLC, we understand how damaging a conviction for theft can be. Not only could it hurt you from getting certain types of jobs, but it could also be used against you for renting an apartment, buying a car, and more. You could be impeached as a witness in other legal proceedings, such as testifying in a car accident or during a child custody battle with your ex in a divorce.
If you are arrested for theft in Tampa, please contact our office right away. We can take immediate steps to protect your rights and prepare the best defense possible.
Examples of Different Types of Theft Charges in Florida
Theft charges can come in many different forms, ranging from a misdemeanor offense to a felony. Examples of theft charges include:
- Petit Theft: This is theft of property that ranges in value between $100 and $750. It’s usually a first-degree misdemeanor, carrying up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. You will need to make restitution for the items stolen. A prior conviction could bump this to a third-degree felony. If your theft charge includes driving off without paying for gas, your license will be suspended for six months to a year.
- Grand Theft: This is stealing property that is over $750 in value. Other types of property can be charged as grand theft, regardless of value. Examples include firearms, wills, controlled substances, and more. If the property is taken from a dwelling, you could be facing grand theft charges even if the value is only $100.
- Burglary: Burglary could be a first-degree felony with life in prison, but it can also be charged as a second- or third-degree felony, depending on the situation. The crime of burglary is when someone enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime.
- Robbery: When someone takes money or property from someone using force, violence, assaults them, or puts them in fear, it’s considered a robbery. Robbery charges would be a second-degree felony unless there was a firearm or other deadly weapon, which makes it a first-degree felony.
Possible Defenses to Theft Charges
Just because you are arrested and charged with theft, it doesn’t mean you are automatically guilty. Possible defenses that we may be able to raise include:
- There was no actual taking of property;
- There was an unlawful search and seizure;
- There was no intent;
- Mistaken identity;
- The police made procedural errors; and
- You thought the property was yours or was given to you as a gift.
Contact a Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you need assistance with criminal theft charges, let our skilled Tampa theft lawyers help. Contact Faulkner Law Group, PLLC, today to schedule an initial consultation.