Are Larceny, Robbery, and Burglary the Same Florida Theft Crimes?
When you hear the term “theft,” you understand that it refers to the crime of taking something that doesn’t belong to you. In fact, Florida theft statute covers a broad range of offenses that involve obtaining property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the rightful owner of it. However, there are numerous subtleties in the laws that make theft crimes much more complicated. These offenses are separate and distinct when it comes to the elements a prosecutor must prove and the penalties you face if convicted.
Because of the complications and potential for confusion, it’s essential to work with a Florida theft crimes defense lawyer if you’ve been arrested. You might also benefit from reviewing different types of theft offenses:
Two Categories of Theft Offenses: Florida law provides for two general types of theft crimes, with multiple levels within each category:
- Grand Theft: When the property is valued at $300 or more, a vehicle, firearm, or any other designated item listed in the statute, the crime is grand theft. Even the lowest form of the crime – Third Degree Grand Theft – is a felony. You could be sentenced to five years in prison and a fine, but the penalties increase to a 30-year prison term and $10,000 fine for stolen property valued at $100,000 or more.
- Petit Theft: For stolen property valued at $100-$299, the offense is First Degree Petit Theft – a misdemeanor. A conviction could lead to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Theft of items worth less than $100 is Second Degree Petit Theft that carries a potential jail sentence of 60 days and a $500 fine.
Specific Types of Theft Offenses: There are additional theft crimes that fall under separate statutes because there are additional elements of criminal activity. For instance:
- Robbery is theft that involves the use of force or threats, such as showing a gun or attacking the victim to steal something. The crime is always a felony, which can include a sentence of life in prison if a deadly weapon is used.
- Burglary is a home invasion crime, where you enter a space with the intent to engage in unlawful activity once inside. For purposes of the law, the premises must be a dwelling, structure, or conveyance – such as a vehicle, trailer, or boat. This offense is also a felony, but the degree depends on whether someone was occupying the premises, the presence of a weapon, and multiple other factors.
Get Personalized Advice from a Florida Theft Crimes Defense Attorney
If you were arrested for any type of theft crime, retaining skilled legal counsel is your first priority. Your lawyer can guide you through the various stages of a criminal case, and will take advantage of every possible defense strategy along the way to protect your rights. For more information on how our team can help, please contact Fort Lauderdale theft attorney Kevin J. Kulik. We can set up a consultation to review your situation and determine the best way to fight theft charges.