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Criminal Defense - Grand Theft

Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer providing help for clients facing Grand Theft Charges

Facing Grand Theft Charges in Florida?

In Florida, the charges for theft crimes are divided into two major categories. Each of the categories is then further separated by degree: The most serious of the two theft categories is known as Grand Theft. If you have been charged with Grand Theft, the offense will be classed as Grand Theft of the First Degree, Second Degree or Third Degree.


What is Grand Theft and what are the penalties in Florida?

The crime of Theft is defined as the taking of another person's property with the intent to either temporarily or permanently:

  • Deprive that person of a right to the property or benefit that the property provides; or
  • Appropriates the property for personal use or for the use of another person not entitled to the use of that property
Penalties for the crime of theft in Florida depend on two things – the value of the property taken, or the type of property taken.


According to Florida Statutes, Grand Theft is punishable as a second degree felony when the stolen property is worth at least $20,000 but less than $100,000.


Grand Theft is punishable as a third degree felony when the stolen property is:

• Worth between $300 and $10,000
• A motor vehicle
• A firearm
• A will or another form of testament
• A commercial farm animal

How can I defend a charge of Grand Theft under Florida Law?

Other than alleging that you have been falsely accused, there are three primary defenses to the crime of Theft.


Florida Good Faith Possession Defense

Under Florida law, conviction for the crime of theft requires proof of that property was taken with the intent to steal. So a person who has taken possession of an item with a good faith belief in their right to the property does not fulfil the requisite intent to commit theft. This means that a well-founded belief in your right to property allegedly stolen constitutes a complete defense to the crime of theft. The experienced Miami theft attorneys at the Law Office of Pelayo Duran can assist you in mounting a good faith possession defense in the Florida courts.


Florida Equal Ownership Defense

Under Florida law, a co-owner of property cannot be held guilty of larceny of that property unless the other co-owner has a superior legal interest that gives them authority to withhold the property. When you need help to mount an equal ownership defense to a grand theft charge in the State of Florida, you should contact the Law Office of Pelayo Duran to arrange a free legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.


Florida Valueless Property Defense

It is simply not possible to steal trash in the State of Florida. This is because Florida law only criminalizes the stealing of "property" and property is defined as "anything of value". Under the law, value is defined as "the market value of property at the time and place of the offense or, if such cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the offense." If someone has placed something by the road, it has become trash that presumably has no value. If you have been accused of stealing an item that is of no monetary value, the criminal defense attorneys at the Miami Law Office of Pelayo Duran can assist you in mounting a valueless property defense.


Miami Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you have been arrested or charged with grand theft in Florida, contact the Law Office of Pelayo Duran to arrange a free legal consulation. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will assess the facts of your case and advise you on the proper course of action to suit your situation.

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