Florida law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges take accusations of theft very seriously. Even if you or your loved one has been accused of a seemingly minor theft crime, the consequences of a conviction could be extremely harsh. It is important that you contact an attorney right away if you have been accused of, arrested for, or charged with any type of theft in Florida. The sooner you get in touch with a lawyer, the sooner they can begin reviewing the evidence, evaluating the charges against you, and looking for holes in the prosecution’s case. At Ali & Blankner, we defend clients throughout Brevard and Orange Counties against all types of theft charges. Together, our Orlando theft crime attorneys have more than 85 years of combined experience and have handled well over 100,000 cases. We understand how the criminal justice system works, and we have the resources, knowledge, and skills to aggressively advocate for you and your rights.
The genuine care and concern Mr. Ali showed us during a difficult time were very much appreciated. It has been a long journey, however, Mr. Ali and the team at Ali & Blankner have been there with us each step along the way.T.M.
Examples of Theft Crimes
The crime of theft covers a wide range of conduct.
Some examples of theft crimes in Florida include:
- Identity theft
- Theft of services
At Ali & Blankner, we represent people from all backgrounds and all walks of life who have been accused of various theft crimes. Regardless of the gravity of your situation or the seriousness of the charges against you, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and fight to defend your freedom. Your future is at stake, and Ali & Blankner can help.
Should You Accept a Plea Deal for Theft Charges?
Many people who face relatively minor criminal charges, such as petit theft or shoplifting, plead guilty because they believe they are receiving a good deal from the State Attorney's office. Unfortunately, many accept the offer without understanding all of the repercussions.
Pleading guilty will result in a criminal record. This criminal record is public, meaning it can be accessed by a potential employer, money lenders, educational institutions, and others. More importantly, certain theft offenses are known as “enhanceable offenses.” For example, if you have a prior conviction for petit theft, any subsequent offense for petit theft can be enhanced to a first-degree misdemeanor or, in certain circumstances, a third-degree felony.
Likewise, all previous convictions can be used to enhance your sentence on a current robbery, burglary, or theft charge. Before you consider pleading guilty to any criminal charge, including various theft crime charges, you should consult an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney who can discuss your options. In some cases, it may be in your best interests to accept the plea deal; in others, you may wish to enter a not-guilty plea and seek to challenge the state’s case against you.
In Florida, theft is defined as the willful taking, obtaining, or using of someone else’s property—or the attempt to take, obtain, or use someone else’s property—with the intention of temporarily or permanently depriving the property owner of the right to that property or to benefit from it and/or with the intention of appropriating the property for their own use or the use of another person who does not have a lawful claim to that property. This includes a wide range of actions, from taking someone else’s wallet to stealing something from a retail store to embezzlement.
There are several different types of theft under Florida law, categorized according to the value of the stolen property:
- Petit Theft: Petit theft, or “petty theft” as it is known in other states, is the lowest level of theft in Florida. There are different degrees of petit theft, including:
- Second-Degree Petit Theft: The value of the stolen property is less than $100
- First-Degree Petit Theft: The value of the stolen property is at least $100 but less than $750
- Grand Theft: Grand theft crimes are typically charged as felonies in Florida and, like petit theft, are classified according to varying degrees. These include:
- Third-Degree Grand Theft: The value of the stolen property was at least $750 but less than $20,000; the value of the stolen property is between $100 and $750, but it was taken from someone’s home or private property; or the stolen property was a motor vehicle, a firearm, a fire extinguisher, commercial livestock, a stop sign or construction sign, anhydrous ammonia, or 2,000 or more pieces of individual fruit in any amount
- Second-Degree Grand Theft: The value of the stolen property is between $20,000 and $100,000; the value of the stolen property is between $5,000 and $20,000 and was taken in the act of looting or rioting; the stolen property is cargo carried in inter- or intrastate commerce and has a value of less than $50,000; or the stolen property is law enforcement or emergency medical equipment valued at over $299
- First-Degree Grand Theft: The value of the stolen property was $100,000 or more; the stolen property is cargo carried in inter- or intrastate cargo valued at more than $50,000; the stolen property was a semitrailer that was deployed by a police officer
Additionally, certain factors can enhance theft charges. For example, if an individual uses a motor vehicle other than a getaway car in the commission of any form of grand theft, or if an individual carries out a second-degree grand theft crime during a riot or official state of emergency, the offense will be charged as a first-degree grand theft. Similarly, if someone commits any type of grand theft that results in more than $1,000 in damage to personal property, including real estate property, the crime will be charged as a first-degree grand theft offense.
At Ali & Blankner, our Orlando theft defense attorneys offer honest and personalized advice to every client. We evaluate the facts of your case to determine your best options; then, we present you with all your options so that you can make an informed decision about your case.
We strongly urge you to contact us immediately if you have been accused or if your loved one has been arrested for theft. Our firm offers free initial consultations and payment plans to make the process easier for you. Our bilingual attorneys and staff can assist you in both English and Spanish, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have about your case, your rights, and your legal options.
If you have been arrested for or charged with theft, you need an aggressive and experienced legal team by your side, one that knows the Florida court system and how to protect your rights. A conviction could result in jail time or even years in prison, not to mention steep fines and permanent damage to your reputation. You could also face significant difficulties obtaining employment, housing, loans, and educational opportunities if you are convicted.
Get the aggressive defense you need to protect your future; call us to discuss your concerns with our Orlando theft defense lawyers right away. We have decades of combined experience to put to work on your behalf. Since 1986, our firm has provided trusted criminal defense services to clients throughout Florida. Our attorneys have earned prestigious AV® Ratings from Martindale-Hubbell® in recognition of their commitment to excellence and their track records of success.
When you hire our firm, you can trust that we have your best interests at heart. We will work tirelessly in our efforts to obtain a positive outcome on your behalf.
Large Firm Results, Small Firm Attention
Our criminal defense team in Orlando understands the ins and out of the legal industry, and we have the infrastructure and resources to handle any case that comes our way. We focus on your case specifically to ensure we get the best result for you.
Dedicated & Experienced Counsel
With over 35 years of experience and thousands of clients helped, Ali & Blankner has the skills, resources, and determination to get you the best possible result.
Prosecutor Insight & Knowledge
All of our Orlando criminal attorneys are former prosecutors and understand how the other side thinks. When you work with our team, you get a group of individuals who knows how to prepare and fight a winning case.
Fighters & Advocates in the Courtroom
The criminal lawyers in Orlando at Ali & Blankner are aggressive advocates who are willing to do whatever it takes to obtain a favorable resolution. We are committed to defending your rights and protecting your future.