Theft Charges in Florida
Under Florida law, Grand Theft is defined as the unlawful taking or using of property valued at $750 or more, with the intent to deprive the owner of their rights to the property. It is a “specific intent” crime, where the defendant takes property belonging to another person with the specific intent to steal. Petit Theft is taking property valued below $750 also with the intent to steal. If the property’s market value cannot be determined, it may also be established with evidence of the replacement item cost. However, some evidence must specify that the replacement item was similar to the item stolen.
Defenses for Theft Charges
There are multiple defenses available under Florida law to contest a theft charge. The following are some of the most common that can apply:
- Consent – The belief that a defendant had the owner’s consent to take the property.
- Obtaining or Using for Lawful Purpose – The defense that a defendant had the legal right to take or dispose of the property or if they believed they had such a right.
- Lack of Intent – If a defendant had a good faith belief that they owned the property, had a possessory interest in it, or had a joint ownership interest in it.
- Mistake of Fact – In Florida, the intent to steal does not exist where a defendant acts under the mistaken belief that the property they took was their property.
Contact a Highly Accessible Central Florida Attorney to Fight For Your Rights
Here at the Law Office of Scott L. Richardson, P.A., you will find a trusted defense attorney protecting your rights for over 30 years in Seminole, Volusia, and Orange counties. I focus my practice on criminal defense, representing clients of various criminal charges, including theft. I am very accessible to clients, understanding just how important their case is to them and their families. I am committed to ensuring no barriers exist between my clients and me. Phone calls are answered at all hours, calls are returned timely, and I see clients anytime and anywhere necessary. To arrange a free initial consultation, please call (407) 843-9411. Payment plans are provided, and major credit cards are accepted. Spanish translation services are available.