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Grand Theft

Grand Theft in Florida

As per Florida Statute §812.014(2)(c), if a person illegally or unlawfully takes the property of someone else that has a minimum worth of $1000, it will be considered as grand theft. 

However, it is mandatory for the state to prove that the property of a minimum worth of $1000, which was taken from someone else with the following intentions: 

Depriving the victim of the rights attached to the property or any benefits from the property.

Personally, using the property of the victim or allowing someone else to use it who has no right to use that property. 

Proving Value 

A prosecutor can prove the value of the property that was stolen by providing evidence such as:
Original purchasing price of the property
The total amount of deprecation since the purchase
The way in which the property was used
Quality and condition of the property at the time of the theft

However, if the prosecutor fails to prove that the total monetary value of the concerned stolen property was less than $1000, then the evidence will be considered as insufficient to prove it as grand theft.

Penalties for Grand Theft

In Florida, grand theft is further classified into three categories. Therefore, penalties and crime degrees are charged according to the value of the concerned property. 

Grand Theft of the Third Degree

A crime will be classified as third-degree grand theft if the stolen or taken property is:

Having a total worth at least $1000 and less than $2,000

A firearm
A codicil, will, or any other instrument of testamentary nature
A controlled element or substance; or
Anything that has a monetary value and was stolen by an employee of a restaurant or a hotel during his/her employment.

As per the Criminal punishment code of Florida, this crime is a felony of the third degree, and it is ranked as an offense of levels 2, 3, or 4.

If a person is found guilty of above mentioned charges, he/she may be handed any of the following legal punishments:

Imprisonment of maximum of five years.
Probation of maximum of five years.
A maximum fine of $5,000 

Grand Theft of the Second Degree

A crime will be classified as second-degree grand theft if the stolen or taken property is:

Greater than $20,000 and lesser than $100,000 in monetary value.

A shipping cargo and total worth of the cargo is below $50,000

An emergency medical equipment and the total worth of the equipment is below $300

As per the Criminal punishment code of Florida, this crime is a felony of the second degree, and it is ranked as an offense of level 6. 

If a person is found guilty of above mentioned charges, he/she may be handed any of the following legal punishments:

Imprisonment of maximum of fifteen years.
Probation of maximum of fifteen years.
A maximum fine of $10,000 

Grand Theft of the First Degree

A crime will be classified as first-degree grand theft if the stolen or taken property is:

Not greater than $100,000 in monetary value.

A shipping cargo and the total worth of the cargo is greater than $50,000.

As per the Criminal punishment code of Florida, this crime is a felony of the first degree, and it is ranked as an offense of level 7. 

If a person is found guilty of above mentioned charges, he/she may be handed any of the following legal punishments:

Imprisonment of a maximum of thirty years and a minimum of twenty-one months
Probation of a maximum of thirty years.
A maximum fine of $10,000 

Statute of Limitations for Grand Theft

As per Florida Statute §812.035(10), a prosecution of any case related to grand theft can be initiated within five years of the offense committed. That said, you cannot initiate any legal proceedings related to grand theft if five years have passed since the offense. However, there can be exceptions to this rule in some cases. 

Defenses to Grand Theft

Equal Ownership

If the concerned property is owned by more than one person, then one person cannot be held guilty for taking or possessing the property unless the other partner or owner has superior rights over the property. 

Good Faith Belief

As per the laws of Florida, a prosecutor must prove to the court that the accused person took or possessed the concerned property with unlawful, illegal, or ill intentions. Therefore, if a person has any right over the property, and he/she takes or possesses the property in good faith, he/she cannot be held guilty for this crime. 

Valueless Property

According to the laws of Florida, a person can only be convicted if he/she is involved in the theft of a property. Now, it is important to understand that "property" means anything that has a market or monetary value. If the value of the stolen property is not ascertainable, it cannot be considered as "property." For example, if you throw something in garbage or road, it means that the item has no value anymore, and if someone picks it up, he/she cannot be held guilty for doing that. 

Voluntary Abandonment

Voluntary abandonment can be used as a defense in grand theft. It means that you were attempting a grand theft, and you intentionally abandoned the theft due to some circumstances you encountered during the theft. 

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone

If you have been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is completely free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.

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