Petty Theft Attorney in Naples
Petty theft, also known as petty larceny, is one of the most common forms of crime in the United States. As a society, we are raised to understand how immoral and wrong it is to steal something that is not yours. As you grow older, however, you begin to realize the complicated nature of what is considered theft and why someone may commit a crime.
If you have been charged with petty theft, it is vital you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Many people are charged with petty theft even if they don’t necessarily fit the parameters of what the charge actually entails. A petty theft attorney understands the complexity of Naples law and can help investigate your case and build your defense. Additionally, if you have been wrongfully accused or charged, it is crucial your rights be protected.
What Constitutes a Petty Theft?
According to Florida law, theft is the deliberate act of obtaining or using another’s property with the intention to appropriate it for their own good. There are many different levels of theft, depending on the property stolen and the offender’s criminal history. In Florida, a petty theft charge is reserved for property or items valued at more than $100 but less than $750.
A person who has committed petty theft in the past is also subject to higher penalties, and the charge is no longer considered petty theft. There are also certain items that may fit into the category of petty theft financially but will result in a more severe charge, like a third-degree felony. Notable items can include:
- Stop signs
- Farm animals
- Prohibited substances
The intentional theft of any of these items will immediately result in a third-degree felony charge, which may result in up to a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.
Petty Theft Penalties In Naples
The typical punishment for petty theft is dependent on the financial amount of the stolen property. For items under $100, penalties can include up to a $500 fine and six months in jail. This is considered the least serious theft charge and is referred to as second-degree petty theft. For petty theft charges over $100, you are charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree. Conviction can lead to up to $1,000 in fines and a year in jail.
You may also be subject to additional fees, depending on property damage and your specific case. Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 812.032 states:
“…[a person] who has caused personal injury, property damage, or other loss, may, upon motion of the state attorney, be sentenced to pay a fine that does not exceed twice the gross value gained or twice the gross loss caused, whichever is greater, plus the cost of investigation and prosecution.”
This means if any physical damage is done to any other humans or property as a direct result of the theft, you may have to pay a fine as a result. These additional fees will depend on the court and all fines will be determined at a separate hearing.
How a Petty Theft Lawyer Can Help
A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can immediately get to work building up your defense. Defenses can include motive and lack of knowledge of proper ownership. Florida law requires criminal theft cases meet certain guidelines for the offender to be considered guilty. The court must find reasonable doubt the defendant has committed any of the following knowingly and willingly:
- Stole the victim’s property
- Intentionally took the victim’s property to deny them usage of it
- Stole the victim’s property for their own ownership or gain
If you have been wrongly accused or charged with petty theft, your attorney can help to ascertain the property was rightfully yours, or at least as you understood it to be. If the defendant is not fully aware the property is not theirs to have, the court can not fully suspect it was intentionally stolen. Proving this to a court of law takes extensive legal background, and criminal defense attorney Robert H. Hanaford possesses just that.
Get In Touch With a Naples Petty Theft Lawyer Today
You may think there is nothing to be done about your petty theft charge. With help from the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford, you can give yourself and your case a fighting chance at the best possible outcome. Hanaford uses his 38 years of legal experience to give his clients the justice they deserve. His personalized and judgment-free approach will be a source of comfort as you navigate the legal options best suited to your case.
Join the numerous clients Hanaford has been able to help in Naples by scheduling a free consultation. We understand the stress and time-sensitive nature of being charged with a crime you did not commit. To set your appointment today, call (239) 315-9750 or use our online contact form.