Grand Theft in Florida: Meaning, Penalties & Defenses

David Weisselberger | November 10, 2023

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Have you ever wondered about the gravity of grand theft charges in Florida? Grand theft is a serious criminal offense in Florida, and navigating its intricacies requires a comprehensive understanding. 

It’s essential to grasp its meaning, especially in the context of Florida Statute 812.014, where property valued at $750,00 and more defines this felony, potential penalties, and available defenses if you ever face such allegations.

We will explore the intricacies of grand theft in Florida, addressing key questions and empowering you to safeguard your legal rights. Join us as we provide the knowledge to navigate grand theft charges effectively.

What is Grand Theft in Florida?

grand theft in florida definition

Grand theft in Florida, also referred to as grand larceny in Florida, is a legal term that refers to the unlawful taking of someone else’s property or funds with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. Under Florida Statute 812.014, grand theft occurs when the stolen property is worth $750.00 or more. 

The value of the stolen property plays a vital role in knowing the degree of the crime. So, is grand theft a felony? This classification as grand theft makes it a felony offense in the state.

Penalties for Grand Theft

what is grand theft in florida

The penalties for grand theft in Florida vary depending on the degree of the offense:

Grand Theft Third Degree

If the stolen property is valued between $750.00 and $20,000.00, it is considered grand theft in the third degree. 

Penalties may include a prison sentence of up to 5 years and fines of up to $5,000.00.

Grand Theft Second Degree

When the stolen property is valued between $20,000.00 and $100,000.00, it is classified as grand theft in the second degree.

Conviction may result in a prison term of up to 15 years and fines of up to $10,000.00.

Grand Theft First Degree

Grand theft in the first degree involves stolen property worth $100,000.00.

The consequences can be as harsh as facing imprisonment for a maximum period of 30 years and being subject to fines reaching $10,000

What Are Defenses to Grand Theft?

defense to grand theft

When facing a grand theft charge in Florida, knowing the possible defenses that can help safeguard your rights and potentially lead to a more favorable outcome is crucial. Here are some key defenses to consider:

Lack of Intent

One of the fundamental elements of grand theft is the intent in depriving the owner of their property. If it can be demonstrated that you did not possess such intent, it can serve as a strong defense. For instance, if you genuinely believed the property was yours or had permission to use it, this lack of intent can be argued in your favor.

Mistaken Identity

In some cases, individuals may be wrongfully identified as the theft perpetrator. This can be a compelling defense if you have concrete evidence to prove absence at the scene of the alleged crime or can provide an alibi. Eyewitness misidentification or unreliable testimonies can lead to mistaken identity, and addressing these issues is essential.

Consent

If you had explicit consent from the owner or a reasonable belief that you had permission to take the property, it could serve as a valid defense. This defense hinges on the understanding that you were not acting unlawfully but with the owner’s permission.

Ownership Dispute

In some cases, the ownership of the property in question may be in dispute. It can be a defense strategy if you can establish a legitimate claim to the property and demonstrate that the alleged victim lacks a clear and uncontested ownership right. Ownership disputes can introduce complexity into theft cases, and a skilled attorney can help navigate these intricacies.

Let Our Attorney Help

Remember, grand theft in Florida is a felony offense that can lead to serious consequences. To increase your chances of a favorable outcome, it’s vital to understand the legal intricacies, potential penalties, and available defenses. Protect your rights with an experienced lawyer who can strategize tailored to your situation.

Don’t delay; act now to erase your case and secure your future. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward resolving your grand theft charges in Florida. Your future may depend on it.

FAQ

What is considered grand theft in Florida?

Grand theft in Florida occurs when the stolen property or funds have a value of $750.00 or more.

What is the punishment for grand theft in Florida?

Penalties for grand theft vary depending on the value of the stolen property, with prison sentences from 5 to 30 years and fines from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00.

How much do you have to steal to go to jail in Florida?

To be charged with grand theft in Florida, the stolen property must be valued at $750.00 or more.

What is the difference between grand theft and petty theft in Florida?

The primary difference is the value of the stolen property. Grand theft involves property valued at $750.00 or more, while petty theft involves less than $750.00.

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