Defendant Found with Stolen Goods from Employer; Arrested for Grand TheftNo Conviction!
The Charge A witness filed a complaint with police that one of his workers has been stealing from his warehouse. Officers checked out the residence of the defendant and found over $1,000 of the missing merchandise in his home. Other witnesses came forward with accounts of seeing the suspect loading his truck up with identical merchandise. Officers arrested the defendant and charged him with grand theft. Grand Theft Definition Under Florida Statutes, section 812.014, Grand theft is defined as any unlawful taking of property that is valued at $300 or more, with the intent of depriving the owner with of their rights to the property. Grand Theft Defenses When contesting grand theft in Florida, there are several defenses that attorneys can use.
- Lack of intent- If the offender believed they were the owner of the said property, had joint ownership or had a possessory interest in the said property, a lack of intent defense can be used.
- Necessity or duress- Should the defendant believe there was a danger or emergency that meant harm for another individual, necessity or duress defense can be used. The defendant will need to be able to prove that the danger they sought to avoid was more than the harm that could be caused by the theft.
- Consent- If the defendant received consent to take the property, a consent defense can be used.
- Lawful purpose- If the defendant believed they have a lawful purpose to the property, a lawful purpose defense could apply. This often happens when neighbors leave property in another neighbor’s yard, or property is left at a rented place and the landlord now has ownership of them.
- Mistake of fact- If the defendant mistakenly takes property as they believe it is their own, a mistake of fact defense can be used. An intent to steal will then not exist.