There are multiple legal defenses that commonly arise in theft-related charges. The State’s theft cases are routinely built around circumstantial evidence only, with no hard evidence. In other instances, evidence was improperly obtained, resulting in its exclusion from court proceedings.
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Florida Statute Florida Statute 812.014 – Theft:
A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently: (1)
Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property. (a)
Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property. (b)
The potential sentences can range dramatically depending on the value of the alleged stolen items. While the theft statute and sentencing statutes provide many nuances to the degree of the crime and the potential sentences, a very basic guideline is included below. For a complete review of the theft statute, click Florida Statute 812.014.
- Alleged stolen items valued at less than $100 (first offense):
- 2nd degree misdemeanor, punishable up to 60 days in jail or six months of probation.
- Alleged stolen items valued at $100 or more, but less than $300:
- 1st degree misdemeanor, punishable up to 364 days in jail or 364 days of probation.
- Alleged stolen items valued at $300 or more, but less than $20,000:
- 3rd degree felony, punishable up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation.
- Alleged stolen items valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000:
- 2nd degree felony, punishable up to 15 years in prison or 15 year of probation.
- Alleged stolen items valued at more than $100,000:
- First degree felony, punishable up to 30 years in prison or 30 years of probation.