As there can be a significant amount of jail time for grand theft if a court convicts you on charges, you must hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A grand theft charge in the state of Florida is a felony, which means a conviction will have a huge impact on your life. You need the best defense for felony grand theft. By facing the courts alone you stand to lose quite a bit.
Contact criminal defense attorney Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal today for a free case evaluation. With years of experience, Mr. Shafran knows how to aggressively fight to protect your rights against a felony grand theft charge. Getting your charges reduced or dismissed is his only goal and number one priority. Do not wait–the prosecution is currently building their case against you.
If you are in need of an attorney for felony grand theft charges in Wets Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale, contact defense attorney Matt Shafran. Do not hesitate to begin building a case in your favor.
Penalties for Felony Grand Theft in Florida
The penalties for felony grand theft in Florida are not just legal, but they can affect your social and personal life as well. Being a convicted felon will permanently tarnish your reputation. Employers, landlords, and even your friends and family may view you in a negative light. You may have difficulty finding a job or a place to live as the charge will appear on background checks. Furthermore, you will lose your right to vote for a period of time and you will not be able to own a firearm.
Additionally, a judge may sentence you to up to thirty years in prison. This means you will miss out on your children's lives, miss important family events, and more. You will also have to pay thousands of dollars in fines, as well as restitution to the victim of the crime.
Do not risk losing all these years of your life because of one mistake. When looking at how much jail time for grand theft you may get, it's clear that you need a lawyer who will fight tirelessly for you.
Does Prior Criminal History Matter?
If you have a prior criminal record you may be wondering whether it will affect how much jail time for grand theft a judge will sentence you to. The answer is that yes, it most likely will. As state law dictates the crime is punishable by up to thirty years in prison, that also means a judge may sentence you to less than that. Sentencing is at the judge's discretion.
When determining your sentence, a judge and/or prosecutor will look at your prior criminal history to decide the probability that you will commit more crimes in the future. They also consider whether the penalties of your prior convictions have deterred you from continuing to participate in illegal activity.
If this is your first criminal offense you may receive a lighter sentence and having an experienced lawyer increases your chance of reducing your charges to a misdemeanor. If you are a repeat offender it is even more critical that you hire an attorney that will fight to keep you out of prison.
Other Factors That May Affect Sentencing
According to Florida Statue 812.014, the state law for grand theft charges applies to any criminal act that involves stealing property worth more than $300. While a judge will take your criminal history into account when deciding your sentence, it is also likely that they will consider the value of stolen property.
If law enforcement arrests for stealing items valued at $301, opposed to $300,000, you have a much better chance of receiving a lower sentence or pleading out on a less severe charge. Do not assume that because you are facing charges you are sure to face many years in prison. It is possible to build a strong case for your defense.
Another factor that impacts your sentencing will be whether you are facing other charges along with felony grand theft. When looking at how much jail time for felony grand theft you are likely to serve, a judge will consider whether or not a violent charge accompanies the crime. For example, if you commit assault against another person in the process of stealing property.
How Much Is Bail for Felony Grand Theft?
If police arrest you on felony theft charges, you will likely have at least a small amount of jail time for grand theft while waiting for arraignment. As a felony charge, it is unlikely that you will be released on your own recognizance. What this means is that you will have to stay in jail until your arraignment date. Most arraignments take place within 48 to 72 hours of your arrest, at which point you will appear before a judge and they will set bail.
By law, your rights protect you against receiving unreasonable or excessive bail. The judge will take various things into account when deciding on the amount. These things include whether or not you are a flight risk, your past criminal record, and more. An experienced defense lawyer for grand theft will present an argument that states why they should release you and attempt to keep the bail amount as low as possible.
The standard bail amount for felony grand theft is different per county and geographical region, however, you can typically bond out for 10% of what the total bond is. Meaning, you can pay 10% of the total bond amount to a bondsman and the bond company will pay your entire fee. Again, there are other factors that will impact this amount and it may be much higher if a violent crime is involved.
Best Defenses for Felony Grand Theft
You need a lawyer who can put together a strong defense on your behalf. A lawyer can look for holes in the prosecutor's case and ensure that you are not wrongfully convicted. When proving guilt the state must prove several things. Remember, you are always innocent until proven guilty. That is your constitutional right.
To prove you are guilty of grand theft, the crime must meet the following criteria:
- The amount of property you stole must be worth more than $300
- The property must be taken without permission
- You must have intended to take the property
- You must have intended to keep the property for good or transfer ownership to another person
Each of these points provides the opportunity to build a solid defense. For example, it may be possible to dispute the value of the property. The prosecutor must prove that it is worth more than $300. If they cannot do so, the crime automatically does not meet the criteria for the charge.
Additionally, they must prove you took the property without permission. You may also be able to develop a defense surrounding this point if, say, one parent grants you permission to take an item from the house but another does not. Technically, you did have permission from one of the owners to take the item.
Another important factor is whether or not you intended to take the property. Did you knowingly steal from a person or business? Or was it an accident? Perhaps you walked out of a store without paying for something but it was a genuine mistake.
And, the prosecutor's office must prove that you intended to keep the stolen items, or rather that you intended to never return them to the original owner. This includes selling stolen property, which can bring an additional charge of dealing in stolen goods.
Hiring a Defense Lawyer for Felony Theft
When you look at the possible jail time for a grand theft charge, it is clear that you need a lawyer who will look for all possible evidence to exonerate you. The potential repercussions of a conviction are too severe to risk taking your chances in court alone, even if you believe that your innocence is obvious.
Criminal defense attorney Matthew Shafran is here to defend your rights against the felony grand theft charges you are facing. Our Law Firm provides you with a free case evaluation, with no obligation, to review the facts.
If you are facing charges for felony grand theft in South Florida, contact Weinstein Legal today at 954-845-0505 for a free case evaluation today. Whether you are in Broward or Palm Beach County, contact Mr. Shafran and begin building your defense immediately.