If you have been hit with a theft charge, it is important to know that you have rights. It is just as important to know how to protect those rights in a court of law. Conviction can have serious consequences—both for your life now and for years to come.
At Frank Schwartz, P.A., our Miami theft attorney is committed to defending clients in state and federal courts. Backed by our lead attorney’s time as a former prosecutor, we offer well-rounded, aggressive representation. We will fight to unravel the prosecution’s case against you, highlighting its weak spots and uncovering any injustices. We’ve done just that in well over 100 criminal trials.
Call (305) 707-7770 to book your free consultation today.
Why Choose Our Theft Defense Team?
Being charged with a crime can be stressful, disorienting, and confusing. Worse, it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. Frank Schwartz, P.A. will work to give you a strong fighting chance. When you hire us, you’ll have a dedicated Miami theft lawyer in your corner.
Our team will build a strong defense strategy tailored to your needs. Known for always putting our clients first, we work toward the best possible solution for every case.
Take one of our past case results for example, Case #FXX-1702XX. This was an armed heist case in which our client faced life behind bars. After some tough negotiation with the prosecution, we were able to have all costs against our clients dropped.
No matter how high the stakes, we will put in our all to defend you.
Common Types of Theft Crimes
There are many different types of theft crimes, such as:
- Shoplifting: the theft of merchandise from a store or business.
- Embezzlement: the theft of company money or property by an employee who was entrusted to manage it. This is a type of white-collar crime.
- Check forgery: issuing a worthless check to another person or business. This is also known as “check kiting” or “uttering.”
- Dealing in stolen property: the sale of stolen property or goods, such as art or real estate.
- Identity theft: the theft of someone else’s name, social security number, and other personal information.
- Credit card fraud: the theft of money by using another person’s credit card information.
- Robbery: the theft of money or other property via the use of fear, force, violence, or assault.
- Burglary: the theft of residential property by use of fear, force, or deception.
The state of Florida splits these theft crimes into two categories: petit and grand theft.
What is Petty Theft?
Also known as “petit theft,” petty theft is often considered a minor charge, as it is usually associated with light shoplifting. But it can bring serious penalties based on the value of the stolen goods.
There are three degrees of petty theft charges in Florida:
- Petty theft of the first degree: when stolen property is valued between $100 and $750.
- Petty theft of the second degree: when stolen property is valued less than $100.
- Petty theft of the third degree: when a person is found guilty of a theft crime more than once. This is also known as “felony petit theft” in Florida.
What is Grand Theft?
Grand theft is a felony offense in which the value of the stolen goods is more than $750. That means even shoplifting (felony shoplifting) may fall into this category.
The state classifies grand theft into three degrees. The value and the type of the stolen goods/property—such as whether it was a firearm, motor vehicle, farm animal, or even a citrus fruit—will be considered.
Florida Theft Penalties
As we mentioned above, theft is divided into two main categories: petit theft and grand theft. The potential criminal penalties are based on the value of the allegedly stolen item.
The following is a breakdown of theft penalties in Florida:
- Second-degree petit theft – The item taken was worth less than $100. Petit theft of the second degree is punishable by a jail sentence of 60 days and a maximum fine of $500.
- First-degree petit theft – The item taken was worth more than $100 but less than $750. Petit theft of the first degree carries a maximum jail time of one year and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Third-degree grand theft – The item taken was worth more than $750 but less than $20,000. Grand theft of the third degree also involves stealing a firearm, motor vehicle, traffic sign, property from a construction site, a commercially farmed animal, and other types of property. This theft offense is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
- Second-degree grand theft – The item taken was worth more than $20,000 but less than $100,000. Grand theft of the second degree also involves stealing law enforcement and emergency medical equipment that is valued at least $300, as well as cargo valued at less than $50,000. This offense carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- First-degree grand theft – The item taken was worth $100,000 or more. Grand theft of the first-degree also involves the theft of a semitrailer deployed by the police, cargo valued at $50,000 or more, and “smash and grab thefts” (when a person commits grand theft, uses a vehicle to commit the offense, and cause property damage). This offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
The best way to lower a potential penalty is to work with an experienced theft defense team. Whether you’ve been charged with petit theft or grand theft, you can count on us to fight tooth and nail for your rights.
Skilled Defense Against Miami Theft Charges
Here at Frank Schwartz, P.A., we’ve seen it all before, and we know how to defend against a variety of theft offenses.
For example, you may have had permission to take the very product you’ve been accused of stealing. Or you may have even been charged with stealing your own property.
No two theft charges are exactly alike, but we can work hard to make sure that your civil liberties are protected. We’ll fight tirelessly to get your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed. We service clients facing theft crime charges throughout Florida in the following areas North Miami, Aventura, Hialeah, South Miami, Kendall, Brickell, North Miami Beach, and Miami Beach.
Give us a call at (305) 707-7770 to speak with a Miami theft attorney. Se habla español!
Frank Schwartz is a Miami attorney who concentrates his legal practice in the area of criminal defense. Mr. Schwartz is proud to have established a highly successful and effective criminal defense trial practice in South Florida.