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How Does Florida Classify Grand Theft?

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In Florida, grand theft is defined as taking someone’s property to use for your own benefit or to deprive the victim of that benefit. Any property that is valued over $750 is classified as grand theft. Any emergency medical equipment or law enforcement equipment stolen that is valued over $300 is also considered grand theft.

Grand theft can also apply to an attempted crime. If you are charged with grand theft in Florida, it’s possible that you simply tried to take someone’s property but were unsuccessful.

Like most crimes, grand theft is classified in multiple degrees that impact the penalties you may face. Third-degree felony grand theft charges are the least severe, while first-degree charges are the most severe. Being convicted of grand theft can affect your life for years to come. If you are being charged with a felony, reach out to our law firm today for assistance.

What Are the Penalties for Grand Theft?

Because grand theft is a felony crime, penalties are severe. The penalties you may face will change depending on the degree of felony you are charged with.

Below are the possible felony charges you may face for grand theft:

Third-Degree Felony

A third-degree felony carries penalties of up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. You may be charged with a third-degree felony if the property is:

  • Valued between $750 and $20,000

  • A motor vehicle

  • A firearm

  • A will or testamentary instrument

  • A fire extinguisher

  • A commercially farmed animal

  • A stop sign

  • A controlled substance

  • Stolen from a construction site

  • Taken from a dwelling

Second-Degree Felony

If you are charged with a second-degree felony, you may face 15 years of prison time or probation and a fine of up to $10,000. Second-degree felonies apply if the property is:

  • Valued between $20,000 and $100,000

  • Cargo valued below $50,000

  • Law enforcement equipment from an emergency vehicle

  • Emergency medical equipment taken from a licensed facility

First-Degree Felony

If you are charged with a first-degree felony, you can face 30 years of prison time and a $100,000 maximum fine. You may face these penalties if the property is:

  • Valued at $100,000 or more

  • A semitrailer owned by law enforcement

  • Cargo valued at $50,000 or more

You may also be charged with a first-degree felony if any property damage occurred during the offense, especially damage done with a vehicle.

What Are the Common Defense Strategies for Grand Theft?

There are many defense strategies that can be used in court or negotiations to contest a grand theft charge. While your specific defense will depend on the nature of your case, our team can create a legal strategy that’s right for you.

Below are some of the common defense strategies for grand theft charges:

  • Lack of intent: The individual believed they owned the property, had joint ownership of the property, or had a possessory interest in the property.

  • Using for a lawful purpose: An individual can defend against grand theft if they had a legal right to take the property or believed they had a legal right to the property.

  • Consent: An individual believed they had the owner’s consent to take the property.

  • Mistake of fact: The individual believed that the property was theirs.

What is the Burden of Proof for a Conviction of Grand Theft?

To be convicted of grand theft in Florida, the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In court, prosecutors must prove the following:

  • The defendant intentionally took or tried to take another person’s property

  • The defendant acted with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of that property

  • The property is valued at $750 or more

Should I Hire a Defense Attorney?

If you are facing charges of grand theft in Florida, hiring a defense attorney is essential. Because grand theft is automatically classified as a felony, you could face years of jail time and hefty fines. Our experienced lawyers can build you a strong case to defend against the penalties you may be facing. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. Call The Defense Group at 407-743-8430 today.

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