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Grand Theft

Tallahassee Theft attorney

Unfortunately, when it comes to theft charges “grand” is  not a good label. Theft is always very serious, carrying potential jail time even when $1 is taken, Grand Theft is a very serious charge, with very serious implications. Grand Theft is charged when specific types of property are taken or the total amount is over $750. If you have a grand theft conviction on your record, that can be a disqualification or at least a big disadvantage when applying for employment or housing.

Do not let that happen. You can fight the charges, but your best bet is to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you build your defense.

Tallahassee Grand Theft Lawyer

If you have been charged with Grand Theft or any theft crime in Tallahassee or the surrounding area, the Grand Theft defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law will stand up for your rights and help you fight the charges. Our legal team will look at every aspect of your case, checking for every misstep or hole in the prosecution’s case to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Call (850) 681-7777 today to schedule a free consultation.

The Pumphrey Law is proud to serve clients throughout the Florida Panhandle, including Tallahassee, Fort Walton Beach, DeFuniak Springs, Panama City, Madison, Vernon, Mayo or any other nearby location.

How Grand Theft is Defined in Tallahassee

Theft, as defined in Florida state law in Florida Statutes § 812.014(1), means that the person charged “knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use” another’s property, to permanently or temporarily deprive that person of the right to or benefit of that property for his or her use, or for the use of someone else not entitled to the property. Whether something is Grand Theft or Petit Theft usually depends on the value of the property allegedly stolen.

If value of the allegedly stolen property is more than $750, the state may charge you with Grand Theft. If it is one of many items specified by law, it doesn’t matter whether the value is greater than $750— the charge can be Grand Theft.

If accused of stealing any of the following you can be charged with Grand Theft in the Third Degree. Third Degree Grand Theft is least severe Grand Theft charge but is still a felony. This list includes:

  • Any property valued between $750 and $20,000,
  • A will or codicil,
  • A firearm,
  • Any motor vehicle,
  • Any commercial farm animal, like a cow, horse or pig,
  • A fire extinguisher,
  • 2,000 or more pieces of citrus fruit,
  • A sign from a construction site,
  • A stop sign,
  • Anhydrous ammonia (commonly used in fertilizer), or
  • Any amount of any controlled substance.

The second type of Grand Theft is Grand Theft in the Second Degree. This charge also applies if:

  • The allegedly stolen property is valued between $20,000 and $100,000,
  • The property allegedly stolen was cargo worth less than $50,000, or
  • The allegations include emergency medical equipment or law enforcement equipment worth more than $750.

The third type is Grand Theft in the First Degree,  reserved for what the Florida legislature has determined to be the most serious of theft charges. This includes:

  • Any property worth $100,000 or more,
  • Cargo worth $50,000 or more, or
  • An alleged theft of property worth $750 or more and:
    • a motor vehicle was used to damage property, or
    • In the process of committing the alleged act, the accused damaged more than $1,000 worth of property.

Penalties for Tallahassee Grand Theft

Grand Theft is a serious charge with serious penalties. The severity depends on the degree to which you are charged. All Grand Theft charges are felonies. The degree of felony depends on the degree of grand theft — a first degree theft charge is a first degree felony, second degree theft is a second degree felony, and a third degree theft a third degree felony.

All Grand Theft Charges in Tallahassee have the potential of significant prison time upon conviction. For a third degree felony, you could be looking at up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. For a second degree felony, it’s up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. And for any first degree felony, the sentence could be up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

These consequences are very serious, but it will not be the end. If convicted, the court takes your fingerprints and fixes the judgment to them, and those become part of the public record. That document can be used against you in any future proceeding.  That may be the least of your worries when it comes to the public record. A grand theft conviction is a major red flag to potential employers. Once you finish serving your time, it may be extremely difficult to find any job where you are trusted with anything valuable — cash, equipment or otherwise. It may be difficult to find any kind of job, period. Employers are wary of anyone with a felony conviction on their record.

These are serious penalties. Do not be caught unprepared with your defense. A criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee can help you fight the charges.

Tallahassee Defenses to Grand Theft

The law for Grand Theft is broader than many people think. It requires the intent to deprive, permanently or temporarily. This leaves a lot of room for accidents and misunderstanding, which can lead to false accusations. For instance, if you were to lease expensive electronics or other property, and you miss a demand letter to return it, it could lead to a Grand Theft charge.

The prosecution must prove all elements of any crime, including Grand Theft in order to secure a conviction. This includes intent, “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Prosecutors are responsible for making the case to jurors that no other scenarios, save some far-fetched or highly improbable ones, could have led to the events they describe. The accused never has to prove anything, unless making an affirmative defense, like insanity. It can be difficult, in many cases, for the prosecutor to prove intent, especially if there was a mistake or a misunderstanding.

Proving “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a tough chore for Tallahassee prosecutors, but they have proven their ability to do just that. You could avoid a lot of heartaches if you are prepared with the proper defense. A grand theft lawyer on your side could find the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and make the difference between a criminal record and a clean record.

Pumphrey Law | Tallahassee Grand Theft Attorney

Grand Theft is a major charge, with severe consequences. If you are charged with Grand Theft in Leon, Gadsden or Wakulla County, an experienced grand theft lawyer can defend you. Our attorneys will seek to get your charges reduced or dismissed, and if you plead “not guilty,” they will fight the prosecution in court. Call the Pumphrey Law today at (850) 681-7777 to set up a free consultation to talk about your Grand Theft charge.

Article last updated February 12, 2021.

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