Facing criminal charges, including theft, can be a harrowing ordeal. Theft offenses in the state of Florida come with severe consequences. When you find yourself caught in a legal battle involving theft, seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable Clermont theft lawyer is essential. Our firm’s skilled criminal defense attorneys have the experience you want in handling your Florida theft case.
Theft Offenses and Sentences
Florida law defines theft as the intentional act of taking someone else’s property without their consent, intending to deprive them of its use or benefit permanently. Theft encompasses a range of actions, including shoplifting, robbery, burglary, and fraud. Each offense carries elements that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
Petit theft is a misdemeanor offense involving property valued below a certain threshold, typically $300. Depending on the circumstances, petit theft can be a first-degree or second-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor results in up to one year of imprisonment and fines up to $1,000, while a second-degree misdemeanor results in a 60-day jail term and fines up to $500.
Grand theft involves property valued above the specified threshold. In Clermont, the value threshold for grand theft varies based on the property involved. Property valued between $750 and $20,000 is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and fines of up to $5,000. Property valued above $20,000 is a second-degree felony, carrying a possible term of imprisonment of up to 15 years and fines of up to $10,000.
Robbery involves using force, threat, or intimidation while committing theft and is a felony offense. Depending on the circumstances, a robbery charge might be a second-degree felony or even a first-degree felony when the alleged crime involves a deadly weapon. Burglary refers to entering a structure intending to commit theft or any other felony. These felony offenses lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment and significant fines. A knowledgeable lawyer in Clermont could explain theft charges and fight to reduce
Statute of Limitations
Regarding theft offenses, it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations determines the time limit for the state to file criminal charges against an individual for a particular offense. When the state fails to bring charges within this timeframe, the accused may use the statute of limitations to defend themselves, which could force the court to dismiss the charges.
In Clermont, the statute of limitations for theft offenses varies depending on the severity of the offense and the value of the stolen property. Generally, the statute of limitations for theft crimes is as follows:
- First-degree felony theft is generally five years
- Second-degree felony theft is typically four years
- Third-degree felony theft is subject to a three-year statute of limitations
- Misdemeanor theft is typically two years
Certain factors can extend or toll the statute of limitations, such as the alleged defendant leaving the state or being absent from the jurisdiction. Additionally, the statute of limitations may differ in cases involving fraud or theft by a public servant. A diligent attorney could determine whether the state failed to bring charges against the alleged defendant and build a strategic defense using this argument.
Contact a Theft Attorney in Clermont For Help With a Case
Facing theft charges requires a robust legal defense to protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences. A skilled Clermont theft lawyer will review the details of your case, challenge the evidence presented against you, and strive to achieve the best possible outcome. When you need legal assistance for a theft-related offense, contact us for a case evaluation.