Grand Theft is a serious felony crime in Florida, with steep and severe fines as well as mandatory jail time for those convicted. The Grand Theft lawyers at Skubiak and Rivas are among the Best Grand Theft Attorneys in the State and will form a robust, intentional, and precise defense to protect you from these charges.
Grand Theft Defined
Grand Theft is defined under Florida Statutes Section 812.014 as “…When a defendant knowingly and unlawfully obtained (or attempted to obtain) the property of another with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the victim of his or her right to the property or to take the property of the victim to use as the defendant’s own, or to use for any other person who is not entitled to it.”
Grand Theft Penalties
When one is charged with Grand Theft, there are many attributing factors to the degree of the crime committed. Primarily, the severity of these charges is based on the dollar value of the item stolen, as well as the intent for which it was stolen. Generally speaking, there are three degrees of Grand Theft in Florida: Third Degree, Second Degree, and First Degree Grand Theft. For each degree, there are increasingly harsh penalties and consequences if found guilty of committing this crime.
Grand Theft of the Third-Degree
Third-degree Grand Theft is defined as committing the theft of property that is valued at $750 or greater but is worth less than $20,000. Third-degree Grand Theft is considered a third-degree felony in Florida and is assigned either a Level 2, 3, or 4 offense under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. If convicted of Third-Degree Grand Theft, you may be facing the following penalties:
- Up to five years in jail;
- Five years of probation; and
- A monetary fine not to exceed $5,000.
Grand Theft of the Second Degree
Second-degree Grand Theft is defined as committing the theft of property that is valued more than $20,000 but not greater than $100,000. Second-degree Grand Theft is considered a second-degree felony in Florida, which is assigned as a Level 6 offense under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. If convicted of Second-Degree Grand Theft, you may be facing the following penalties:
- A maximum of fifteen years in jail;
- Probation for fifteen years; and
- A monetary fine not to exceed $10,000.
Grand Theft of the First Degree
First-degree Grand Theft is defined as committing the theft of property that is valued to be worth more than $100,000. First-degree Grand Theft is considered a first-degree felony in Florida, which is assigned as a Level 7 offense under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. If convicted of First-Degree Grand Theft, you may be facing the following penalties:
- A minimum of 21 months in jail;
- Probation for 30 years; and
- A monetary fine not to exceed $10,000.
Grand Theft Auto Charges in Florida
Grand Theft Auto is accessed using similar parameters to standard Grand Theft. The differences, however, include factors based on intent, the valuation of the Vehicle, the circumstances surrounding the theft, as well as the determination of ownership by an individual or of ownership by an entity.
According to Florida Statutes Section 812.014(2), Grand Theft Auto is typically charged as a Third-Degree felony, however, the state prosecution may seek an enhancement of the charges resulting in either second-degree or first-degree felony conviction based upon the value of the stolen vehicle. For example, if the stolen vehicle’s value is greater than $20,000 but less than $100,000, the crime will be charged as a felony in the Second-Degree, clearly in line with the qualifications for any Second-Degree, Grand theft charge.
In the Case of First-Degree Grand Theft Auto, if the stolen vehicle is worth $100,000 or greater, if the vehicle was a semitrailer owned and used by law enforcement, or if the perpetrator used the stolen vehicle while committing an additional crime, causing damage to another individual’s property, the crime will automatically be categorized as a first-degree felony.
Penalties for Grand Theft Auto in Florida
As stated above, the value of the stolen vehicle dictates the potential penalties which you can be charged with. For example, if a vehicle has a value of less than $20,000, the applicable sentencing, if convicted, is up to five years in jail, five years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
The severity of the penalties, as with all Grand Theft Charges, is similar when applied to that of Grand Theft Auto.
Defenses to Grand Theft Auto
Skubiak and Rivas are some of the most successful and seasoned Grand Theft Lawyers in Florida, defending countless individuals who have been charged with Grand Theft. Our Firm understands that uncovering the specific circumstances and details surrounding the alleged crime can truly turn the tide of these often difficult cases.
Some of our most successful defenses have been based on the following specific details:
- The absence of a specific intent to commit the crime
- You believed that you were granted permission to take the vehicle
- You were sold a vehicle that was stolen
- You believed that you had the right to take the vehicle
- You acted pursuant to duress or necessity (however, this defense will not apply if you take an automobile after the Governor declares a state of emergency)
Grand Theft Statutes of Limitation
Under Florida Statute Section 812.035(10), the statute of limitations of prosecution for committing Grand Theft is five years. This means that an individual is able to press charges against you for Grand Theft up to five years following the alleged time of the crime.
Contact Rivas & Associates, P.A.: The #1 Grand Theft Lawyer in Florida.
Are you facing charges for Grand Theft in Florida? The penalties upon conviction are extremely serious: you could be facing jail time, devastating fees, and years of imprisonment.
Moreover, having a felony on your criminal record—even after you have served your sentence—can limit your qualifications for many employment opportunities, as well as other consequences that come with being a convicted felon.
Our experienced Grand Theft Attorneys can help you to fight these charges. Contact Rivas & Associates, P.A. to learn more about how we can assist with your case.