What Happens if you get Caught Stealing?
If you have been caught stealing something that’s not yours in Miami, the potential consequences and penalties will depend on what you stole, who you stole it from, how you stole it, and how much it was worth. But no matter what you are accused of stealing, criminal theft charges can result in serious penalties, including significant jail time.
What is Theft?
Theft is the criminal charge you will face for stealing, but there are many different kinds of theft with different elements and different penalties. No matter what kind of theft charges are brought against you, prosecutors will have to prove the following basic elements of the crime:
• You knowingly obtained or used, or attempted toobtain or to use, someone else’s property with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:
• Deprive the other person of the property’s use or benefits
• Appropriate the property for your own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.
What Theft Crime Will You Be Charged With?
The value of the stolen property dictates how serious the charges can become and how severe the penalties will be.
-If the value of what you are accused of stealing is less than $300, you will be charged with petit theft, a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in the county jail or up to 12months probation.
-If the value of the property is less than $100.00, the theft is a misdemeanor of the second degree and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
-If you steal something worth more than $300, you could face felony grand theft charges and the much harsher penalties that go along with these more serious crimes. Specifically:
• 1st degree grand theft, for items worth $100,000 or more, can result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
• 2nd degree grand theft, for items worth between $20,000-$100,000, can lead to a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
• 3rd degree grand theft of items valued at$300-$20,000 can lead to a prison sentence of up to five years.
The theft of certain items, such as a car or a gun, will always be considered felony grand theft no matter what their actual value is, and sentences will be more severe if the theft was by someone in a position of trust or authority, like a trustee or caregiver. Additionally, if you have been convicted of prior misdemeanor petit thefts and are arrested for another theft, the misdemeanor can be filed as a felony petit theft.
If you are facing theft charges of any kind in South Florida, it is important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Even if you avoid a harsh and lengthy prison sentence, a conviction will go on your record, and a crime such as theft which calls into question your trustworthiness and honesty can have a devastating impact on your job opportunities and your future. Our goal is to get your case dismissed and then seal or expunge your arrest and court records.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
For over 28 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.