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Theft Crime Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Crimes involving theft make up more annual arrests than any other criminal offense in the state of Florida. Just a few years ago, Florida law enforcement officials announced that there were in excess of 600,000 larcenies, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts, and robberies culminating in approximately 180,000 arrests. Those numbers do not include the 12,200 offenders who were arrested for fraud, the 995 offenders who were arrested for embezzlement, the 2,400 offenders who were arrested for receiving or buying stolen property, or the 2,500 offenders who were arrested for forgery.

To put those numbers into context, that would be the equivalent of every single citizen in Fort Lauderdale, which has a population of 173,000, getting arrested for a crime related to theft, and an additional 25,000 people. After all that, it still would not take into account the number of offenders who were arrested for crimes such as retail theft and petit theft.

Anybody who has been arrested, charged or is currently being investigated for a crime related to theft is strongly advised to meet with a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. There is a whole range of legal tactics that may provide you with an agreeable outcome to your case.

At the offices of Musca Law, our skilled criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients who have been charged with any of these crimes.

Worthless Checks

Passing worthless checks is one of the more frequently seen theft-related crimes in Florida.

The crime of passing a worthless check is considered to have taken place when a person, in an attempt to receive goods or services, passes a check with the awareness that there is not enough money in her or his checking account to cover the expense.

The theft criminal defense lawyers at Musca Law understand that while F.S. 832.05(2)(a) is commonly known as the worthless check law, it incorporates additional offenses that include orders to pay money and commercial paper. It might have to do with money orders, debit cards or other forms of payment. The statute also disallows depositing or cashing any of these items with the purpose of committing fraud.

Based primarily on the total that was written on the check, the sentencing for a guilty verdict can vary from supervised probation to a long stretch in state prison.

Burglary

A burglary takes place about every four minutes in the state of Florida, based on statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Not every single burglary ends in an arrest, but the newly released data shows that there are approximately 21,000 arrests for burglary in the Sunshine State every single year.

Whether or not those arrests will end in a hailstorm of guilty verdicts usually boils down to the pedigree of the defendant’s Fort Lauderdale burglary criminal defense attorney. At Musca Law, our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers are committed to ensuring our clients have the advantage of solid legal strategy and representation.

Burglary is a crime that is able to be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, but the outcome will rely on a variety of determinants, such as if the defendant already has a criminal record. Due to the fact that a guilty verdict can negatively impact every single aspect of a person’s life, these are not charges to dismiss or to take lightly. A hard-working attorney will make certain that your rights are preserved and that the consequences of the arrest will be alleviated to the highest degree possible.

Robbery

Alleged offenders who are charged with robbery in Florida need to realize the incredibly pressing nature of these accusations and why it is absolutely vital that you retain an experienced legal team.

At Musca Law, our Fort Lauderdale robbery criminal defense attorneys know exactly what is needed to successfully advocate for our clients in these types of situations. Even in cases where the proof seems unshakeable, there is nearly always a legal tactic that can be used to alleviate any long-term impacts.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that there is one robbery every 24 minutes in Florida. In 2014, there was a grand total of 21,500 robberies reported, with approximately 8,600 of those performed at gunpoint.

Embezzlement

Employee theft has been committed for as long as there have been people with jobs. The whole spectrum of the issue of embezzlement has achieved increased recognition and harsher punishments in more recent years.

The National White Collar Crime Center published that theft by employees also referred to as embezzlement, make up losses of as much as $90 billion every single year. Retail stores alone report an average of $18 billion in annual theft by employees, which is approximately $2.3 billion greater than the overall total for theft committed by customers.

Based on a current Marquet Report about the crime of embezzlement, theft by employees :

  • Makes up roughly 30 to 50 percent of all business bankruptcies
  • Is committed by an average of three out of every four employees
  • Went up by a total of five percent between 2012 and 2013

Even though theft by employees is commonly imagined as a criminal act that happens only in the highest echelons of industry, it is not a crime solely for bank executives and financial officers. It is a crime that is just as frequently committed by the grocery store employee and the PTA President.

Auto Theft

Deliberately and willfully stealing someone else’s car without their knowledge or their consent, no matter if their intention was to borrow it for a short while or to relieve the owner of it for good, is a felony commonly referred to as Grand Theft Auto.

The Fort Lauderdale auto theft defense attorneys here at Musca Law work diligently with their clients who have been accused of auto theft in order to put together a powerful legal strategy.

Auto theft is seen as a singular kind of theft under Florida law. While the majority of theft-related offenses are classified by seriousness according to the worth of the stolen property, auto theft in Florida is NEVER not a felony, even when the car is worth next to nothing.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement published a report stating that one automobile is stolen every 15 minutes throughout the entire state of Florida.

Grand theft auto has been glorified over the past decade or so mainly due to a collection of video games that share the same name. The possible sentences, however, are substantial, and almost always involve incarceration in state prison. A seasoned criminal defense attorney will be able to help defendants seek a decrease in or dismissal of their charges before ever setting foot in a courtroom, or apply a range of useful legal maneuvers throughout the trial should your case get that far.

Don’t hesitate when it comes to retaining an attorney. You do not want to wait until after you have been questioned by law enforcement. Do not respond to any questions that they ask you until after you have had a chance to meet with one of our criminal defense attorneys.

Shoplifting

While some people view shoplifting as being a petty crime, the truth of the matter is that people who shoplift in the state of Florida can and usually do suffer harsh criminal punishments, including things like a long stint in jail and exorbitant administrative fines.

The Musca Law offices in Fort Lauderdale have shoplifting criminal defense attorneys who know that there is no single charge in Florida that is clearly for shoplifting. Florida does, however, have a specific charge for retail theft, which is outlined in Florida Statute 812.015.

For the most part, a charge of retail theft indicates:

  • Assuming ownership of or taking away store property
  • Changing the information on labels or price tags
  • Moving stock from one package into another package
  • Taking a shopping cart containing merchandise out of the store without paying for the contents
  • Doing something with the purpose of depriving the store of the ownership, use, advantage or full retail value of the item or items.

Carjacking

Since new and up-to-date anti-theft innovations on cars have made it much more difficult to steal automobiles surreptitiously, a lot of car thieves have themselves moved on to technological answers to their problems. Even more car thieves, however, are merely returning to their old way of boosting a ride, carjacking.

In Florida, carjacking is defined as a way of taking an automobile out of the care of somebody else by employing the use of force, violence, threats or assault.

Based on the extensive experience of our criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law who specialize in carjacking cases, the majority of carjacking offenders are charged with a felony in the first degree due to the fact that they utilized a gun or other lethal weapon during the perpetration of their offense. The maximum sentence for this crime is life behind bars.

The seriousness of this crime cannot be underestimated. It is absolutely vital for anyone who is a suspect in a case that involves carjacking to confer with a top-rated legal defense team.

Grand Theft

Based on information from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, over $1 billion in property is reported as stolen every year. The crime of heft makes up roughly 70 percent of all crimes that involve property. In the state of Florida, however, barring a couple of exemptions, only theft cases that involve property that is valued at $300 or greater are recognized as being grand theft.

At Musca Law, our Fort Lauderdale theft defense attorneys are very aware of the necessity of swift, skillful legal advocacy for crimes that are as serious as these. You are entitled to have legal counsel during your whole legal process, starting with the day on which you were arrested. It is crucial that you realize that even before you are arrested, you would do well to refuse to speak to law enforcement or answer any of their questions until after you meet with a criminal defense attorney. Asking to have a criminal defense attorney present before you will speak to the police is not an action that can be used against you and is 100% within your rights as an American citizen.

Grand theft is a very severe felony offense in Florida, and it is essential that you make certain from the very start that you are well defended with solid legal representation.

What is Theft in Florida?

In layman’s terms, theft is commonly called stealing. In the legal field, it can also be referred to as larceny.

Florida Statute 812.014 lays out a very broad legal definition of the crime:

A person is considered to have committed theft if she or he intentionally takes, utilizes or attempts to take or utilize property belonging to someone else with the sole purpose of either permanently or temporarily:

  • Depriving the supposed victim of their benefit of or right to the property
  • Reserve the property for her or his personal use or for the use of another person who is also not authorized to be in possession of the property

The law describes at great length the different levels of crimes of general theft, with sentences differing based on:

  • The overall worth of the items that were stolen
  • The kind of items that were stolen
  • The number of victims that were affected by the theft
  • Whether or not the defendant had any prior criminal record

There could also be enhanced penalties for theft crimes that also involved:

  • A gun
  • Gangs
  • Forcible Taking

Considering the seriousness of these crimes and the sentences that so often come with them, our aim is to help our clients circumvent a conviction altogether, if at all possible. Our criminal defense attorneys implement their decades of skill and working knowledge and use it to the advantage of our clients by helping them to settle these serious legal issues in the least painful, most beneficial way possible.

Don’t hesitate to contact our Fort Lauderdale office today at (954) 302-5391 to schedule a free initial case consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.

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