In some cases, all it takes is an accusation of wrongdoing to place an individual in legal hot water. Perhaps you borrowed something from a neighbor, or even from your place of employment, and next thing you know, you are riding in the back of a police cruiser. Although the situation may be embarrassing at the time, what comes next might be significantly more stressful and intimidating.
A conviction for theft will inevitably impact various areas of a person's life, both personal and professional alike. In order to protect your future, you will likely want to obtain immediate assistance in the criminal court process due to the gravity of your current predicament.
Potential consequences for theft
If you stand accused of stealing from another party, you are probably wondering about the potential consequences you face. Theft charges are severe in nature, and the penalties will depend on Florida state laws in accordance with the amount allegedly stolen. Penalties and sentences for grand theft could include the following:
- First degree: If the alleged theft is above $100,000, a person could face up to 30 years in prison, along with up to $10,000 in fines.
- Second degree: In amounts between $20,000 and the above, the penalty might include up to 15 years in prison, but the fines could remain the same.
- Third degree: Amounts between $300 and $20,000 can lead to up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Although less severe, penalties for petty theft are still serious and can be challenging to overcome. These penalties could include the following:
- First degree: A conviction for first-degree petty theft can result in up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
- Second degree: A second-degree petty theft conviction could lead to as many as 60 days in jail and $500 in fines.
Obtaining guidance throughout the process
Perhaps you wish to challenge the charges and protect yourself from potentially devastating consequences, but you might be uncertain how to achieve this goal. The process can be exceedingly challenging to navigate alone, and you will probably find it beneficial to obtain legal counsel for advice in the preliminary stages.
An attorney with experience in defending against criminal theft charges can thoroughly examine the evidence against you, advise you of the potential outcomes and assist you in forming a strategy for use in criminal proceedings. A strong defense strategy could prove beneficial to reducing the charges you face, and in some cases, getting them dropped altogether.