what is the punishment for petty theft in florida

What Is The Punishment For Petty Theft In Florida

What is the punishment for petty theft in Florida?

What is the punishment for petty theft in floridaA conviction of petit theft in Florida will have a lasting impact on your future employment and education opportunities. A criminal record can be viewed by prospective employers during background checks and may hinder your travel.

An experienced Miami petty theft defense attorney can help you minimize the impact of a petit theft conviction on your life. Some counties have diversion programs for first offenders.

DEFINITION OF PETIT THEFT IN FLORIDA

What is petty theft in Florida? In Florida, the crime of petit theft – also known as petty theft – applies to the unlawful taking of property valued less than $750. Florida statutes further classify the offense into two degrees of severity: first degree misdemeanor petit theft and second degree petit theft.

The prosecution in a petit theft case must prove that the defendant took the property with intent to steal. This is a question of fact for the jury to decide based upon the evidence presented in the case.

While criminal convictions can carry significant penalties such as jail or prison time, probation, fines, community service, orders for restitution and a permanent criminal record, a good Miami petty theft defense attorney will seek to minimize the impact on your life and your future.

Your attorney might argue that the alleged crime was not committed and that there was no criminal intent. For example, if you left your wallet at the store, forgot about an item in your shopping cart, or were distracted by a friend who stole merchandise from the same location, then there is no criminal intent to be proven by the prosecution.

What Is The Punishment For Petty Theft In Florida- PENALTIES FOR PETIT THEFT

In Florida, a conviction for petit (petty) theft can have devastating consequences for your future. You could face jail or prison time, probation, fines, restitution orders and a criminal record that can make it impossible to get a job. Moreover, a criminal record can have the effect of suspending your driver’s license and causing you to be ineligible for most college scholarships and other financial aid.

There are a variety of effective strategies that your criminal defense attorney can use to fight petit theft charges. For instance, your lawyer may be able to prove that the property was not valuable enough to constitute theft. They can also argue that you believed in good faith that the property belonged to you or that you had permission to possess it.

A criminal defense lawyer can also help you defend against charges involving a felony offense or repeated petit thefts. Under certain circumstances, the prosecutors might agree to reduce your sentence or mitigate penalties. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced theft crimes attorney.

LICENSE SUSPENSION CONSEQUENCES

Whether a first or second time offender, any person convicted of petit theft will have their driver’s license suspended for six months for the first conviction and one year for any subsequent offenses. Having any type of theft crime on your record can also be a major impediment to finding employment.

The State must prove that you took the property of another with intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the victim of their property or benefits therefrom, or that you appropriated the property for your own use or for the use of someone not entitled to its use. The length of time that the defendant had possession of the property is relevant to establishing the intent. The Court held that taking a fire extinguisher and throwing it away after holding it for mere seconds was insufficient to establish the necessary intent for a conviction of theft.

A criminal defense lawyer can help you fight these charges by presenting a strong argument that the property in question is of no value. A skilled attorney may be able to have the charges dismissed entirely by having you participate in a diversion program.

CRIMINAL RECORD CONSEQUENCES IN FL

A conviction of petit theft in Florida will have serious criminal record consequences, including fines, jail time, probation, and a permanent mark on your record as a convicted felon. It will also impact your ability to find work, get an education, obtain housing, and pass background checks.

The State must prove that you had intent to take property that did not belong to you from a store without paying for it. This includes attempting to conceal merchandise or switching item labels. The length of time that you had the property in your possession is important as well. Throwing a fire extinguisher after holding it for mere seconds does not constitute intent to steal.

There are many effective strategies that a seasoned attorney can use to get your charges reduced or dismissed in court. One of the most common defenses in a case involving shoplifting or petit theft is that you never had criminal intent. Perhaps you left a store to retrieve your wallet or forgot that you had property in your shopping cart. In other cases, eyewitness testimony may be inaccurate and you could be the victim of misidentification.

PROOF USED AT TRIAL

A theft conviction on your record can have serious ramifications. It can hurt your reputation as a person of good character and may prevent you from securing employment and educational opportunities. It will also show up when someone runs a background check on you.

To convict you of petit theft, the State must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt: 1) that you took property; and 2) that you had specific criminal intent to deprive the owner of the property. The latter element of intent is a question of fact for the jury to decide, and it must be proved by substantial competent evidence.

A skilled Florida theft defense attorney will be able to challenge the State’s case in several ways. For example, your attorney can argue that you had a good faith belief that the property in question was yours or that you had permission to possess it. This is a common argument when it comes to shoplifting. In this case, the alleged victim’s testimony can be difficult to dispute.

PETIT THEFT DEFENSES

A theft crime conviction can be a major embarrassment and will stay on your record for years to come. It can affect your employment, professional and educational opportunities. You need an Orlando criminal defense attorney with the experience and dedication to defend your rights.

There are several possible defenses to petit theft in Florida. Your attorney may challenge the state’s proof of value for the property or items that you are accused of stealing. They may also challenge the evidence that you had intent to steal. Intent is a crucial element that must be proven.

If this is your first time facing charges for petit theft, your attorney could seek to get you into a pre-trial diversion program. These programs are similar to probation and allow you to have your record expunged if you successfully complete the terms of the program. These typically include paying restitution, attending an anti-theft class and doing community service. In addition to this, your Orlando defense attorney may be able to have the charges dismissed by filing a motion to suppress evidence obtained in violation of your constitutional rights.

PRETRIAL INTERVENTION FOR PETIT THEFT

The State Attorney’s Office in Florida may offer a pretrial intervention program, or PTI, for first offenders charged with minor, non-violent offenses. The PTI program is a non-binding contract whereby the State will agree to dismiss your charges if you complete certain conditions agreed upon by both parties. The typical conditions include community service hours, fines, fees, costs and sometimes course work (e.g. a theft class).

A criminal defense attorney can help you qualify for pretrial diversion/intervention for petit theft and other charges such as burglary, battery, criminal mischief, resisting an officer without violence, possession of marijuana and stalking. To qualify for PTI you must have no prior record and the victim in your case must consent to your participation.

Chris Lasnetski is a former Orlando petit theft prosecutor and has handled many of these cases over the years. As such he has an in-depth understanding of what is important to the prosecutor in these cases and how to achieve the best outcome possible for your situation. The experience of having handled these cases for so long also gives him insight into the judges and prosecutors that handle these type of cases in Orlando, which is an additional benefit to his clients.

IMPORTANCE OF AN FLORIDA DEFENSE ATTORNEY

The consequences of a conviction for petit theft in Florida can be life-disrupting. A conviction can cause a permanent criminal record, which may inhibit employment and educational opportunities for years to come. It can also lead to the loss of a driver’s license. A skilled Ft myers criminal defense attorney could help you avoid these penalties.

Defending a case involving petit theft is an art form. The most effective strategy involves presenting evidence that the defendant did not intend to steal the property or that the prosecution’s case is flawed. Oftentimes, this involves challenging the credibility of eyewitness testimony.

Conclusion

The state must prove that the defendant knowingly obtained or used, or attempted to obtain or use, the property of another with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of the property. This intent is largely a question of fact for the jury to decide. The length of time the defendant had possession of the property is also a factor in this inquiry. For instance, a momentary taking of an item for mere seconds is unlikely to satisfy the specific intent requirement for petit theft in Florida. Now that you know what is the punishment for petty theft in Florida call us now for help!

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