Fort Myers Theft Lawyer
Theft generally refers to taking someone else’s property without the intention of returning it. According to Florida law, there are many different types of theft, and each distinct crime carries a range of penalties. Theft can be classified as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances.
Thievery is considered to be a serious crime under the Florida criminal justice system. That’s why it’s imperative to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side when attempting to secure a favorable resolution to your case.
A person who is caught stealing can be charged with petit theft, grand theft, robbery, or burglary. If you are charged with one of these crimes in Fort Myers, FL, then you should contact Patrick McLain Law. Patrick McLain is an experienced theft crime attorney who can help you understand the consequences of the charges and prepare your defense options.
Petit Theft Fort Myers
Petit theft charges are considered a first-degree misdemeanor (M1) or a second-degree misdemeanor (M2). If a person is caught stealing an item valued at less than $100, they can be charged with M1 or M2 petit theft.
If that individual has been previously convicted of petit theft, M2 charges can be upgraded to the more severe M1 charge. When a person is caught with stolen property valued at greater than $100 but less than $300, they can be charged with M2 or M1 petit theft.
Individuals charged with M2 face up to 60 days in county jail. Individuals charged with an M1 face up to 365 days in county jail, higher fines, and probation.
If you’ve been charged with petty theft in Fort Myers, then the attorneys from Patrick McLain Law can provide the legal help you need.
Fort Myers, FL Grand Theft
Grand theft charges carry heftier punishments than petty theft. If an individual steals an item that is valued at more than $300, but less than $20,000, they can be charged with a third-degree felony (F3).
When the stolen property is valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000, the charge can be enhanced to a second-degree felony (F2). If the item is valued at $100,000 or more, the individual can be charged with a first-degree felony (F1).
Grand theft is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and carries a maximum fine of $10,000.
However, grand theft charges have been dismissed before, especially if the arrest procedure was improper.
You should speak with a Fort Myers theft attorney about getting your grand theft charges dismissed.
Burglary and Robbery
Florida’s most serious theft crimes fall into either the burglary or robbery category. An individual can be charged with second-degree robbery when they took the stolen item directly from someone or if the person used force while trying to steal the item.
If an individual uses a weapon during the theft, that person can be charged with a first-degree felony robbery charge. If the weapon was a firearm, the robbery could be punishable by life in prison (PBL).
Any individual who enters a structure or dwelling intending to commit a crime can be charged with burglary even if they don’t take anything. Burglary is a third-degree felony when it involves a car and a second-degree felony when in a house. If a person was armed or committed an assault or battery during the burglary, they could receive life in prison.
Contacting a criminal defense attorney can help you with your options when charged with theft. If you’re facing theft charges in Fort Meyers, contact Patrick, McLain Law; we can help you.
If a theft crime is considered to be aggravated, the sentence could result in increased fines and prison time. Aggravated theft is the theft of property with one of the following aggravating factors:
- The use of a weapon, specifically a deadly weapon
- The use of threats or intimidation with the crime
- Theft related to gang activity or organized crime
- Theft of high-value property
- Theft of police or government property
Those found guilty of aggravated theft can end up with a permanent felony record and limit their legal rights, such as the right to participate in elections.
Speak with a Florida criminal convictions attorney if you’ve been accused of aggravated theft. Patrick Mclain Law can help you clear your name and reduce your charges.
Florida Theft Crime Attorneys FAQ
Finding the right answers to all your legal questions requires just one phone call to us because you can get a free consultation with the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Patrick Mclain Law. Read on for more information about Fort Myers theft crimes.
What amount of theft is considered a felony in Florida?
Grand theft is the unlawful taking of property valued at $750 or more and can be charged as a felony offense. Grand theft carries severe penalties, including prison time, heavy fines, and restitution.
How can a theft conviction be used against you in the future?
Anyone who is convicted of even minor forms of theft in Florida will be fingerprinted. Even if you’re not convicted, your name can still be included in a national database that employers use when conducting a background check.
Can petty theft charges be dropped in Florida?
First-time theft offenders may have their charges dismissed if their attorney negotiates a Theft Diversion Program on their behalf. These programs range from 3 to 18 months depending on if you were charged with a misdemeanor or felony, and also the amount of restitution involved.
If you complete a pre-trial diversion program the charges against you can be dropped and you could have your record expunged. If you plead guilty to the theft charge or are convicted at trial, you will be unable to expunge your record.
How can a Fort Myers theft lawyer help me?
Patrick McLain Law represents individuals facing a variety of theft charges. Our skilled Florida theft defense lawyers will challenge the charges brought against you. If you are facing charges for a misdemeanor or felony theft, contact a seasoned Florida criminal defense attorney at Patrick McLain Law.