Highlands County, FL.
Our client was one of three individuals that left a lounge intoxicated through the back door, provoking a phone call to the police by the establishment’s manager. When an officer arrived at the establishment management reported that he had witnessed three men exiting the rear door, where two of the individuals (one being our client), drove off in a golf cart belonging to the Lounge. Our client was caught and arrested for Grand Theft.
Grand Theft in Florida
Grand theft is a felony charge under Florida law. A charge of grand theft can be made if the property taken was valued at more than $300. The individual that took that possession will have willingly taken it in order to deprive the owner of the property of their rights to it.
How Property is Valued in a Grand Theft Conviction
In order to convict a person of grand theft, there will need to be a value set upon the possession that was stolen. Value has been determined by the following:
- The market value is considered at the time and place where the offense was committed. If no value can be asserted, a reasonable replacement cost of the possession after the offense has taken place.
- If a value can not be determined, the value must not be less than a certain amount. If this still can not be determined, a value of $100 or less will be given.
The original purchase price will not be enough to provide a value of the item that was stolen. This may be taken into consideration, but other factors that come into play include how the item is used, what condition it was currently in, the quality when it was originally bought, and the percentage of appreciation or depreciation.
Retail value can also not be used to determine the value of property stolen. Evidence will be needed from a competent person who is willing to testify as to what the value is.
If you have been convicted of grand theft, you need the assistance of a skilled attorney. An attorney will be able to negotiate with the state to have the charges dropped or have a more favorable outcome in the case. There are many things on the line when one faces a charge of a felony. Not only will it be on your record for the rest of your life, but it will also impact your life. Each time you fill out a job application, you will be required by law to check the box stating you have been convicted of a felony. This may hurt your chances of employment in some cases. It can affect your housing situation, as landlords are not required to rent to those that have criminal records. One can also be evicted from their housing for a felony.
Result: After careful negotiation with the State, we were able to get the Felony Grand Theft charges dropped!