What Happens When You Are Charged with Theft in Florida?

What happens if someone presses charges on you for theft? If you are currently facing criminal charges, it is essential that you hire a defense attorney to prove your innocence right away. Whether this is your first-time offense or you are a repeat offender, the team at Weinstein Legal is here to help. Partner and head of the criminal defense division Matt Shafran is an experienced defense attorney who is ready to aggressively fight to protect your rights in a court of law.

A conviction for theft in Florida can have a lasting impact on your life. However, all hope is not lost if you are facing charges. There is help available to you no matter your circumstances. An experienced criminal defense attorney such as Mr. Shafran can help gather evidence on your behalf and can negotiate with the courts to reduce or drop your charge.

How to Know You Have Been Charged with Theft

If you are charged with theft, law enforcement will arrest you and read you your Miranda Rights. At this time, it is advisable that you contact a theft lawyer such as Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal immediately. You do not have to submit to questioning by police or investigators without an attorney present, ever. This is your constitutional right, and the police must uphold it.

Once you are arrested and charged with theft, the courts must make you aware of the specific charge against you. Penalties for theft charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies and can carry significant prison time and hefty fines. You will be arraigned at a formal hearing, at which time a judge will read an official document to the courts that lists your charges. This is when you will enter a plea of "guilty" or "not guilty." Never face an arraignment hearing without legal representation.

It is likely that law enforcement will release you from custody to await the date of your arraignment hearing at home, however, sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that will cause you to remain in jail until that time. These circumstances may include a violation of probation, the charge being a repeat offense, your inability to pay for bail, and more. If you have a loved one who is currently waiting on their arraignment from jail, contact Weinstein Legal today. Our team may be able to help and can advocate for your loved one's release.

Florida Legislature for Theft Charges

Florida statute 812.014 outlines the state legislature for theft charges and penalties. According to the legal definition, you may receive theft charges if you "knowingly obtain or use, or endeavor to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently." Additionally, you may face theft charges in Florida if you "deprive another person of a right to their property or a benefit from their property" or "appropriate property to your own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.

Whether you receive misdemeanor or felony charges will depend on the monetary value of the property in question as well as the surrounding circumstances of the alleged crime. For property that is valued at less than $1,000, you will likely receive a misdemeanor theft charge, while property valued at more than $1,000 will incur felony charges. Additionally, theft accusations that involve government property, crimes that take place during a state of emergency, and more, can receive upgraded charges even if the property does not exceed the noted $1,000 value.

Theft charges and possible penalties do become more severe as the property value of the items in question increases. Additionally, the type of item in question in regard to the theft can also play a role in the severity of charges. For example, property stolen from government buildings or law enforcement vehicles, emergency items such as fire extinguishers stolen from any location, the theft of legal documents such as wills, and more can all have an impact and lead to more severe consequences regardless of monetary value.

Should any other crime occur at the time of the theft in question you are likely to face upgraded charges as well. These possible crimes include things like battery and assault, breaking and entering, fraud, and more.

Sentencing for Theft Charges in Florida

The sentencing for theft charges in Florida will vary depending on a variety of circumstances that are unique to your case. First, the courts will consider whether you are facing charges for a misdemeanor or felony offense. Misdemeanor charges generally carry less severe consequences, though they can still significantly impede your life.

Additionally, the courts will consider factors such as whether or not this is your first offense as well as the circumstances surrounding the rest of your criminal history, whether anyone was physically harmed in the process of the crime, and more.

Possible sentencing consequences for theft charges include jail or prison time, court fees and fines, a mandate to complete community service or a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program if the courts believe substance abuse problems may have played a role in the theft. A theft conviction will remain on your permanent criminal record and a felony conviction will have far-reaching consequences for many years to come.

If you are wondering what happens if someone presses charges on you for theft, contact a criminal defense attorney such as Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal today. There are many factors that can impact the severity of your charges as well as possible sentencing. Do not face the courts alone, there is help available to you.

How a Theft Defense Attorney Can Help

If you are looking for answers regarding what happens if someone presses charges on you for theft, contact Weinstein Legal today and ask for criminal defense attorney Matt Shafran. Our team will provide you with a free case evaluation with absolutely no obligation to review the facts surrounding your case.

The team at Weinstein Legal has access to a wide range of professionals who can help build a case to prove your innocence. These professionals include subject matter experts as well as private investigators. We will start working to build a case in your defense on the very first day and we will not stop until we have exhausted all options. Attorney Matt Shafran is ready to aggressively fight to protect your rights.

Should you find yourself facing theft charges in Florida, do not wait. Contact the team at Weinstein Legal today. There is never a time when your call will go unanswered and you will have access to your attorney around-the-clock. Criminal defense lawyer Matt Shafran has ample experience representing individuals facing theft charges in Florida and is ready to help you too.

Whether you are a repeat offender or this is your first brush with the law, Weinstein Legal is here for you. Mr. Shafran represents individuals facing both misdemeanor and felony theft charges, helping defendants to get their charges either reduced or dropped entirely in a court of law. A theft conviction can have lasting effects on your life, landing you in jail, costing you employment opportunities, and more. There is legal help available to you when you call Weinstein Legal. Call 954-845-0505 and ask for Matt Shafran.

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