What is Criminal Law Theft?
In Florida, theft is defined as knowingly obtaining, using, or attempting to obtain or use another’s property, with the intent to permanently or temporarily: deprive the person of the property, or convert the property to an unauthorized use.
This includes not only the common example of shoplifting, but also conduct such as a caretaker who siphons funds from an account or a teen joyriding in a car. Many people are surprised to learn the broad range of conduct covered by Florida’s theft statute.
The law defines the category of theft and associated penalties based on the value of the property stolen. The penalties escalate on this basis – the higher the value of the property, the more serious the offense.
What you need to know about Property Valuation and Classifications of Crimes
The classifications range from Petit Theft of the Second Degree, where the property stolen is valued under $100 to Grand Theft in the First Degree, most commonly applicable where the property is valued at $100,000 or more. There are several categories in the middle, each with their own nuances and penalties. Generally, where the property is valued under $750, the charge will be a form of petit theft and be a misdemeanor. Conversely, if the value of the property allegedly stolen is greater than $750, taken from someone’s home, or is a controlled substance, the charge will be a felony. It is also important to note that there are enhanced penalties possible for habitual offenders and where the victim was elderly.
Do you need a lawyer? Steps to take if you are a victim of Criminal Law Theft
If you have experienced a criminal law theft, the first thing you should do is file a police report. Once completed, you should contact an attorney at once. The attorney’s at Oldham & Delcamp, Criminal Defense Lawyers in St. Petersburg and Pinellas, Florida, have litigated thousands of cases and will guide you through the process of prosecuting your case. Gordon Oldham and Jack Delcamp have extensive experience in criminal law theft; they feel strongly about ensuring that clients get fair treatment and that justice prevails. They offer a free consultation and will help you determine if you have a practical claim.
Once you’ve determined what property was stolen, any evidence you can supply will help bolster your case:
Keep your attorneys apprised of any new information or evidence. A successful challenge to the deflated value of the property a defendant supplies will lead the court to rule in your favor. By providing your attorneys at Oldham & Delcamp with reliable, verifiable information, you stand a better chance in receiving restitution.
How long do Criminal Law Theft cases take to settle?
Many criminal law theft cases settle before going to trial.
On average, if a misdemeanor case does go to trial, it may take anywhere from a day to two weeks. Felony trials may take longer depending on the nature of the case, averaging between two months and one year.
Although many states prohibit monetary consideration for settling criminal charges, defendants can resolve certain misdemeanor charges through a financial settlement. Provided that the defendant pays restitution, remains trouble-free, and meets all the other conditions imposed by the courts, the case is dismissed at the end of the probationary period.
If you’ve been a victim of Criminal Law Theft, don’t hesitate to call the Law Offices of Oldham & Delcamp to schedule your free consultation. Oldham & Delcamp is a full-service law firm. Call us today!
Oldham & Delcamp is a member of the Attorney’s Real Estate Council of Pinellas County, is also currently on the Board of Directors of the Pinellas County Bar Association, and is the former chair of the Real Property section.
When your freedom is on the line, you need an attorney that is aggressive, responsive, and experienced. Oldham & Delcamp is committed to making sure that each of our clients receives the personalized attention of one of our attorneys.