A car dealership accused one of its employees of removing a seat from a new vehicle and installing it into his car. The seat had a value of $4,000. Officers arrested the defendant and charged him with grand theft.
Grand Theft Charges
Grand theft can be charged in Florida for those that intentionally take property valued at at least $300. This is a felony offense. The monetary value of the property stolen will determine the charges.
- Third-degree felony: Grand theft will be a third-degree felony if the property stolen was between $300 and $20,000. Offenders can expect up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation with a $5,000 fine. Items that this may include a will or codicil, a firearm, a fire extinguisher, a stop sign, a controlled substance, a motor vehicle, or any commercially farmed animal.
- Second-degree felony: Grand theft will be charged as a second-degree felony if the property stolen was between $20,000 and $100,000. A second-degree felony can receive up to 15 years in prison or 15 years of probation and a $10,000 fine. This property can include any law officer equipment that is valued at $300 or more that is taken from a licensed law enforcement vehicle or any emergency medical equipment that has been taken from a licensed facility.
- First-degree felony: If the property was valued at $100,000 or more, a first-degree felony can be charged. This is punishable by up to 30 years in jail or 30 years probation and a fine of up to $10,000.
Being convicted of grand theft auto has many harsh consequences. While the state has the authority to punish the offender with jail time, probation, and fines, there is more on the line than this. A felony conviction will be on your record, which can affect employment. It could cause individuals to either lose their job or have a hard time finding a job.
Your reputation can also be affected by a conviction of a felony. It may cause issues with relationships. Felons are not allowed to own firearms, nor are they allowed to vote. Any public office will not be held by a felon.
Felons also can lose the right to be a foster parent or adopt. Landlords also have the right to evict a person who was convicted of a felony. Student aid and loans will not be made available to those that have a felony on their record.
Lack of Evidence
Under Florida law, a conviction of grand theft auto can only be given if there is proof that the defendant intended to deprive the owner of the use or benefit of the item stolen. A case can fall short when the state does not have the proper evidence to support the felony charges.
RESULT: The defense questioned the lack of evidence against the client. The diligence of the attorney prevailed with the State DROPPING the charges against our client.