Theft And Property Crimes Helping Clients Move Forward

Theft Crimes Lawyer in Palm Beach

Florida law categorizes crimes involving property in two different ways. The first involves the theft or taking of property, while the second way involves trespassing on or damaging property. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense, if you are arrested for a theft or property crime, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges.

If you are under investigation for any type of theft offense then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at McLaughlin Morris Law to discuss your case. We represent clients on a variety of theft crimes including theft, grand theft, larceny, and auto theft throughout South Florida, including Palm Beach County, Broward County and Miami-Dade County, FL.

With offices in Delray Beach and Miami, the criminal defense attorneys at McLaughlin Morris Law are here to provide you with a free and confidential consultation. Call today for a free consultation to discuss your case. We can begin your defense today. (561) 771-6336

What is Theft?

Theft is defined by § 812.014 of the Florida Statutes as when an individual knowingly obtains or uses the property of another with the intent either to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of the right to or benefit of the property.

Crimes Involving Theft of Property

Some of the most common types of theft crimes committed in Palm Beach are defined by the Florida Statutes below:

  • Shoplifting (Fla. Stat. § 812.015) (often called “retail theft”): An individual is guilty of this offense, if he or she steals a retail item from a store, alters the labels or tags on an item, or puts the item in a different container for the purpose of defrauding the store. Depending on the value of the merchandise stolen, this offense can range from a second degree misdemeanor to a second degree felony.
  • Petit Theft (Fla. Stat. § 812.014): If an individual intentionally takes property belonging to someone else and intends on keeping the property, then he or she can be charged with petit theft. If the value of the stolen property is less than $100, it is considered a second degree misdemeanor. If the value is between $100 and $300, it can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor.
  • Grand Theft (Fla. Stat. § 812.014): When the value of property stolen from an individual is over $750, the offender can be charged with a first, second, or third degree felony.

Trespassing and Damaging Property

Property crimes can involve damaging, trespassing, or unlawfully gaining entrance into a building or structure. Common property crimes in Palm Beach include:

  • Criminal Mischief (Fla. Stat. § 806.13): If an individual intentionally and maliciously damages or places graffiti on property belonging to someone else, then he or she is guilty of criminal mischief or vandalism. Depending on the value of the damage inflicted, an individual can face third degree felony, first degree misdemeanor, or second degree misdemeanor charges.
  • Criminal Trespass (Fla. Stat. § 810.08): This offense occurs when an individual enters property he or she is not authorized to enter. If the offender had authorization or permission to enter the property, but was asked by the owner to vacate the premises and refused to do so, then he or she is guilty of criminal trespass. If arrested for this offense, an individual will usually face first or second degree misdemeanor charges.
  • Arson (Fla. Stat. § 806.01): When an individual willfully and intentionally damages a building, dwelling, or any other structure, by use of fire or explosives, then he or she can be charged with arson. In Florida, arson is usually considered a second or third degree felony.

Penalties for Theft or Property Crimes in Palm Beach

The penalties for theft and property crimes can vary from case to case. Some of the factors that can influence penalties include the value of the stolen property, the value of the damaged property, whether or not the offender’s actions put anyone else in immediate danger, or whether or not a weapon was used during the commission of the offense. According to Florida Statute § 775.082 and § 775.083 the penalties for theft and property crimes are as follows:

  • Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail, and/or a fine of up to $500
  • First Degree Misdemeanor: Maximum jail sentence of one year, and/or a fine of up to $1,000
  • Third Degree Felony: Up to five years of imprisonment, and/or a fine of up to $5,000
  • Second Degree Felony: Potential prison sentence of up to 15 years, and/or a fine of up to a $10,000
  • First Degree Felony: 30 years to life in prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000

As mentioned above, the penalties for theft and property crimes depend largely upon the circumstances involved in the alleged offense. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Palm Beach may be able to find mitigating factors that could lead to having your charges and potential penalties reduced, if you are convicted of a crime.

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