Grand Theft

Grand theft is a felony offense that can cost you in the form of court fees, victim restitution, prison time, lost job opportunities, your right to a serve on a jury, right to vote, and right to protect yourself with a firearm. Grand theft in Florida applies to stolen items that are $300 or greater in value, a minor amount when the consequences are so severe.  Theft does not involve violence, as with robbery, but simply the taking or using of property that is not yours and depriving the owner of its use.

To prove your guilt in a grand theft offense in Florida, the prosecutors must show you stole the goods and had the intent to deprive another person of the item in question. If you unknowingly received stolen property or were able to show you were taking back your own property, the charges will be dismissed.

West Palm Beach Grand Theft Lawyer

Attorneys Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell were previously adversaries on opposite sides of the courtroom. Their years of experience come together in your defense. Grand theft can range from allegedly stolen goods of $300 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you have been implicated or charged with grand theft in Florida, call us to review your case.

We see clients across Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Broward Counties, and each one has a different set of circumstances. When you call Meltzer & Bell, P.A., you are getting the commitment from either Lawrence Meltzer or Steven Bell to personally oversee your case and any strategy and defense developed on your behalf. Call us today at (561) 557-8686 to schedule a free consultation where we will plan the next steps forward for your defense.

Grand Theft Information Center

Back to Top

Definition of Theft Under Florida Law

Theft in Florida is defined under Fla. Stat. 812.014. The levels of punishment for theft increase according to the fair market value of the stolen property. For example, penalties begin with a misdemeanor for a petit theft of property valued under $300 to a first degree felony of property valued into the hundreds of thousands.

In any theft case, the offender may be found guilty if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the property of another with the intent to deprive them of it or appropriate it.

Back to Top

Grand Theft in the Third Degree

A grand theft of the third degree is applied for theft of property valued between $300 and $20,000. It also applies to theft of certain items, regardless of value, including:

  • A firearm
  • A motor vehicle
  • Any commercially farmed animal
  • A bee colony of a registered beekeeper
  • An aquaculture species raised at a certified aquaculture facility
  • A will or other testamentary instrument
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Property stolen from a marked construction site
  • A stop sign
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Any amount of a controlled substance

Back to Top

Grand Theft in the Second Degree

For property valued between $20,000 or more and less than $100,000, a grand theft in the second degree will be sought. Specifically related to cargo shipping over the roadways, if a truck driver or other person transporting any amount of cargo less than $50,000 in value does not arrive to deliver the goods to the rightful consignee (receiver), the offender will be charged with a grand theft in the second degree.

Florida law also defines theft of emergency medical equipment valued over $300 stolen from an emergency medical facility or vehicle as a grand theft in the second degree. Theft of law enforcement equipment valued above $300 and removed from an emergency vehicle is a grand theft in the second degree.

Back to Top

Grand Theft in the First Degree

Stolen goods valued above $100,000 will result in a charge for grand theft in the first degree. Additionally, stolen cargo that is appropriated between the shipper’s loading dock and the consignee’s receiving dock, valued at over $50,000, is a grand theft in the first degree.

A grand theft committed in Florida while using a motor vehicle in the agency of the act, except solely as a getaway vehicle, and that also causes damage to the property of another will be charged as a grand theft of the first degree

If, by any means, the offender causes damage in an amount greater than $1,000 to a person or person’s property, the charge will be grand theft of the first degree.

Back to Top

Grand Theft During a State of Emergency

In order to curb looting during natural disasters and emergencies, any act of theft committed during a state of emergency will be charged as the next greater penalty. In other words, a grand theft in the second degree is considered grand theft in the first degree if committed during a state of emergency as declared by the Governor and if the crime was facilitated by the general civil unrest of an emergency.

Back to Top

Penalties for Grand Theft in Florida

Grand Theft Lawyer

A grand theft conviction in Florida can subject you to many years in prison depending on the value of the property in question. If the amount in question is minimal, a plea deal may be reached to avoid prison and instead require a probationary period and restitution to the victim.

Felony convictions in Florida remain on the offender’s record for life. There is a lifetime ban on possessing a firearm, voting, serving on a jury, holding public office, and obtaining certain state licenses. Obtaining federal or state aid is also hindered by a felony conviction.

Offense Penalty Maximum Prison Sentence Maximum Fine
Petit theft Misdemeanor of the first degree 1 year $1,000
Grand theft in the third degree Third degree felony 5 years $5,000
Grand theft in the second degree Second degree felony 15 years $10,000
Grand theft in the first degree First degree felony 30 years $10,000

Back to Top

Defenses to Grand Theft in Florida

As Fla. Stat. 812.014 notes, a person commits theft if they knowingly obtain or use the property of another with intent to deprive the other person or appropriate their property. If you have received stolen goods, you did not knowingly obtain another person’s property in order to deprive them. You had acted with a good faith belief you had a right to ownership or possession.

This also applies when you can adequately explain that you believed the property had been taken from you and you were taking your rightful ownership back. It may also apply if you believe you are getting property back on behalf of another person. In some cases, the property owner can be shown to have consented to the use of their property, in which case no crime occurred.

If you are caught with allegedly stolen property, how does the state prove you stole the items? Outside of physically witnessing the theft, prosecutors use implicating circumstances such as the time between the theft and your being found in possession of the goods.

As the consequences can be extremely harsh, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. will work each day to provide a favorable outcome for your case. A case that is satisfactorily resolved before trial can save you time, money, and stress. With extensive trial experience, both Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are prepared to take your case to trial if needed.

Back to Top

Finding a Defense Team for Your Palm Beach County Grand Theft Case

The sooner your case is in our hands, the more time we can prepare your defense or resolve and put away the issue earlier. Call (561) 557-8686 today if you have been arrested or charged with grand theft in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Belle Glade, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, or Greenacres.

  • Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Law Firms In the U.S - 2017 Honoree
    Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was an honaree for the Fastest Growing Law Firm In the U.S. award in 2017.
  • National College for DUI Defense
    The NCDD is a professional, non-profit corporation dedicated to the improvement of the criminal defense bar, and to the dissemination of information to the public about drunk driving law and related issues.
  • Broward Association of Criminal Defense lawyers
    BACDL's mission is to assist, support, and strengthen the Broward County criminal defense practitioner in the zealous defense of individuals and their Constitutional rights.
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    Promoting excellence and integrity in the practice of criminal law.
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    NACDL is an American criminal defense organization. Members include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, active U.S. military defense counsel, judges and more.
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
    NORML is an American non-profit organization based in Washington, DC whose aim is to achieve the legalization of non-medical marijuana in the United States.
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
    The DDLA was founded on principles of democracy, transparency, and freedom of speech. We provide support, resources and education to the top DUI attorneys nationwide.
  • Better Business Bureau
    The BBB, founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.
  • Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Law Firms In the U.S - 2017 Honoree
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • Broward Association of Criminal Defense lawyers
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • Better Business Bureau

    Contact Us Now

    Call (561) 557-8686 or complete the form. Phones answered 24/7. Most form responses within 5 minutes during business hours, and 15-20 minutes during evenings and weekends.

    100% Secure & Confidential