Fort Lauderdale Theft Attorney
Theft Crime Defense in Broward County Florida
Theft covers a broad range of specific offenses under Florida law. Essentially, theft involves intentionally taking another person’s property or possessions and either permanently or temporarily depriving the other person of their right to it or their ability to benefit from it. If convicted of theft, you could face a wide variety of penalties ranging from fines to time in prison.
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our skilled theft lawyers in Fort Lauderdale have decades of legal experience, including experience as former prosecutors. This provides us with a unique perspective on how the prosecution is likely to approach your case. We tailor our defense to your unique situation and fight to uphold your rights from start to finish.
Schedule a free case evaluation with us at your earliest convenience by calling (954) 840-8713. Our Fort Lauderdale theft lawyers are available 24/7!
Theft Cases We Handle
Over the years, our firm has handled a wide variety of theft cases. We understand Florida’s laws governing theft crimes and understand how Broward County prosecutors pursue these cases. During your initial consultation, we can discuss what your potential defenses may be and how we can help you through your present circumstances.
Our Fort Lauderdale theft attorneys defend against all kinds of theft crimes, including:
- Computer fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Identity theft
- Credit card theft
Penalties for Theft in Broward County
Theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties for a theft crime depend on the value of the stolen property and the circumstances of the incident.
Circumstances that may exacerbate your charges include:
- Committing theft against an elderly person (age 65 or older)
- Using or threatening to use a weapon during the crime
- Trafficking stolen property
- Committing a separate crime in the course of committing a theft crime
- Using a motor vehicle during the commission of the crime (other than using it as a getaway vehicle)
- Extensively damaging the property or premises while committing the crime
The biggest difference in punishment, however, is in considering whether it was petty theft or grand theft.
Second-Degree Misdemeanor Theft
The least severe theft charge (less than $100 of merchandise) is a misdemeanor in the second degree.
A misdemeanor in the second degree can result in:
- Imprisonment up to 60 days; or
- A fine of up to $500.
First-Degree Misdemeanor Theft
The next level for a theft charge (equal to or more than $100, but less than $300) is a misdemeanor in the first degree.
A misdemeanor in the first degree can result in:
- Imprisonment not exceeding a year; or
- A fine of up to $1,000.
At this point, we leave misdemeanors behind and go up to felony charges. The first felony classification for a theft charge (merchandise valued at $300, but less than $20,000) is a felony in the third degree.
Third-Degree Felony Theft
A felony in the third degree can result in:
- Imprisonment not exceeding five years; and
- A fine of up to $5,000.
The next level for a felony theft charge (merchandise valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,00) is a felony in the second degree.
Second-Degree Felony Theft
A felony in the second degree can result in:
- Imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years; and
- A fine of up to $10,000.
The last classification for a felony theft charge (merchandise valued at more than $100,000) is a felony in the first degree.
First-Degree Felony Theft
A felony in the first degree can result in:
- Imprisonment not exceeding thirty years; and
- A fine of up to $10,000.
Based on these classifications; if you steal a phone, jewelry, or anything worth $300 or more, you’ll be facing a felony charge. However, no matter the classification and degree of your theft charge, Hager & Schwartz can help you fight for your case.
Petty Theft Charges in Broward County
Petty theft is the name for a simple theft crime where the value of the property stolen is less than $300. This includes the majority of instances of crimes like shoplifting.
Generally, petty theft is considered a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense and the property was valued at less than $100. Second-offense convictions are considered a first-degree misdemeanor if the property was valued between $100 and $299.
- First-degree petty theft: a fine of $1,000, up to 1 year in jail, and a 6-month license suspension
- Second-degree petty theft: a fine of $500 and 60 days in jail
Grand Theft Charges in Broward County
Grand theft is a much larger classification of theft crime, covering thefts where the merchandise is valued at $300 and up. These offenses are usually classified as some form of a felony, which means they also carry much heavier penalties and severe consequences than a petty theft conviction.
- Third-degree grand theft contains thefts where the property stolen is valued between $300 and $20,000, plus a few other specially-protected pieces of property like wills and legal documents. These offense are classified as a third-degree felony, which can carry up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
- Second-degree grand theft covers theft of property valued at $20,000 to $100,000 and includes things like medical equipment and law enforcement property. These offense are classified as a second-degree felony which carries up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- First-degree grand theft accusations cover theft of property valued at $100,000 and up as well as offenses where the accused used a motor vehicle in the commission of the crime or dealt damage to the property of another person. These are classified as a first-degree felony, which can carry up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Possible Defenses for Theft Crimes in Florida
If you have been charged with a theft crime or believe you are under investigation for one, turn to the team at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. right away. The sooner we can get started crafting a defense strategy, the better off you will be. We fight to ensure that our clients’ rights are not violated by prosecutors or law enforcement officials at any stage of the process.
Potential defense strategies we may employ include:
- Involuntary intoxication
- A genuine belief that you owned or had a right to possess the allegedly stolen property
- You had consent from the property owner to take or use the property
Call Us 24/7 to Request Your Free Case Review
If you or someone you love has been arrested for theft in Broward County, it is imperative that you reach out to a Fort Lauderdale theft crime lawyer at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. as soon as possible. As former state prosecutors, our defense attorneys know how the other side of the courtroom operates. They also share decades of collective legal experience.
We are available 24/7, so don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Initial consultations are always free and confidential. Call us today at (954) 840-8713.
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