Fort Lauderdale Theft Attorney
What can a theft charge take from you?
If you are convicted of theft, you can lose your job, future employment or educational opportunities, driving privileges, professional licensure and the respect of friends, coworkers and even your family. Often referred to as “collateral consequences,” these losses can feel as harsh as the severe penalties imposed by the courts. Have you been charged with theft? Attorney Kevin Kulik brings more than 30 years of criminal law experience to bear on behalf of clients who, like you, are seeking the best possible outcome by engaging competent representation. We know what you are facing. Kevin Kulik spent the early part of his legal career as an assistant state attorney before becoming a criminal lawyer. At Kevin J. Kulik, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale theft attorneys have helped hundreds of clients from Broward County and throughout South Florida obtain positive results and get on with their lives.
Understanding the difference between theft, robbery and burglary
Theft is taking another person’s property without the owner’s permission. Theft crimes may include taking anything, from an item in a store to a car. It can even include offenses such as writing bad checks and possession of stolen property. Burglary includes the act of entering a structure (a house, apartment, hotel room, office building or vehicle) with the intention of committing a criminal act. Robbery means that something of value was taken from a person by force or threat of force and is generally the most serious of all property crimes.
What are the penalties for petit theft?
Most petit theft charges involve retail theft, or shoplifting. Petit theft is considered a crime of dishonesty and is most commonly a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail for a first offense. Subsequent offenses carry stiffer penalties, including up to one year in jail. A second petit theft offense can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor and include up to one year imprisonment and the possible suspension of your drivers license for up to six months. If you are found guilty of the offense, the court must suspend your license for one full year. Moreover, it may have a negative effect on your ability to further your career or enroll in college. You are also fingerprinted for any petit theft conviction.
What are the penalties for grand theft?
There are three degrees of theft charges and the penalties are tied to the value of the property stolen. All grand thefts are considered felony charges:
- First-degree grand theft is charged when the stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more. The penalties include up to 15 years of incarceration and fines of up to $10,000.
- Second-degree grand theft carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000. You face this charge if the value of the stolen property is between $20,000 and $99,999.
- Third-degree grand theft includes so-called grand theft auto. In addition to items valued between $300 and $19,999, the theft of firearms, farm animals, fire extinguishers, stop signs or construction signs, and anhydrous ammonia (a major ingredient in explosive devices) are considered third-degree offenses, with penalties of up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
Talk to us about how we can help you fight Fort Lauderdale theft charges
If you have been arrested or charged with any theft crime, call Fort Lauderdale theft attorney, Kevin J. Kulik, P.A. immediately to discuss your situation. The consultation is free and confidential. To schedule a time to talk, please call us at 954-761-9411 or send us an email. If you cannot meet us at our office near the River Walk zone, we can come to your home or make arrangements to visit you in prison or jail.