Lake City Theft Attorneys
The Florida Statutes outline a number of different theft crimes, and these are some of the most commonly laid charges in the state. Theft crimes range from fairly minor crimes, such as shoplifting, to offenses that are much more serious, such as grand theft. Regardless of the type of charge you are facing, you will face serious consequences if convicted. Even a conviction for shoplifting will result in a permanent criminal record that may not be possible to seal or expunge. A Lake City theft attorney can help you avoid these harsh penalties by beating your charges.
What is Theft in Florida?
Before you can understand the different types of theft charges in Lake City, you must first understand the broader definition of theft. Under Florida law, theft is defined as intentionally taking, or trying to take, any property that belongs to another person, and without that person’s permission to take the item. To secure a conviction for a theft crime, a person must have intended to keep the property away from their rightful owner. A person may also be convicted of theft if they intentionally used the stolen goods for their own personal use, or for another person to use that was not the rightful owner.
Retail theft, more commonly known as shoplifting, is so common in Lake City and throughout the state, it is charged more than any other offense in the state. Many people think retail theft is a minor crime and in many cases, that is true. However, these charges can be classified as anything from a misdemeanor to felony grand theft, depending on the items stolen.
There are many defenses to retail theft, and it is important to speak to a lawyer that will know how to argue them. Even a conviction for a misdemeanor will be seen by future employers and others as a crime of deception, which can limit the opportunities available to you.
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Petit theft in Florida is actually divided into two offenses. The more minor of these is petit theft of the second degree. A person may face these charges if the value of the items allegedly stolen was less than $100. A conviction can result in a maximum 60 days in jail and a fine of $500. The more severe type of petit theft is that of the first degree. A person may face these charges if the value of the goods allegedly stolen was between $100 and $300. Jail time for those convicted can be as much as up to one year.
The most serious type of theft crime in Lake City, grand theft charges are classified as either first degree, second degree, or third degree, which is the least serious. A conviction for grand theft can result in a prison sentence between five and thirty years.
Our Lake City Theft Attorney Can Provide the Legal Advice You Need
Although certain charges of theft are more serious than others, you still need a solid defense no matter what offense you have been accused of. At Meldon Law, our Lake City criminal defense attorney will defend against these charges so you have the best chance of retaining your freedom. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case review.