“Theft” is a legal term that refers to a vast array of property crimes. This includes offenses such as stealing, misappropriation, larceny, and conversion, among many others. When someone’s property has been taken or used without the owner’s permission, it’s likely to be considered a case of theft under Florida law.
There are several legal elements that must be proven by the prosecutor in order for a crime to be officially classified as theft. In a criminal trial, it’s up to the prosecutor to establish what the specific intent of the defendant was in using or taking the plaintiff’s property.
The criminal intent of the defendant also must be established by the prosecution. This must coincide with the time that the taking of the property or the attempt thereof was made.
Grand and petty theft
There are two types of theft, distinguished by the weight of the crime and penalties: petty theft and grand theft. It’s helpful to know the difference between the two types to understand what penalties you may face and to build your strongest case moving forward.
The classification of theft charges between petty and grand is the primary determining factor for whether your offense is going to count as a felony or misdemeanor. By far, the aspect with the most bearing in these cases is the total value of the property. When the stolen property is worth at least $100,000, the charges may be escalated to grand theft.
Virtually all cases when defending yourself against criminal charges hold some level of complexity. It’s crucial in these types of cases to ensure that your rights are protected as you navigate the complex and often intimidating process. A strong defense against criminal charges seeks the best possible outcome, potentially reducing the penalties you’re faced with as much as possible – or in some cases, eliminating them altogether.
While it’s never easy to go through theft charges, the process is much easier to navigate when you have a basic understanding. By following every step carefully, you can see your way through and defend yourself fully.