Grand Theft is the act of taking, attempting to take, or using another person’s property valued at $300 or more without the consent of the owner, and with the intent to deprive the owner of a right to or benefit from the property.Definition of Grand Theft in Florida
The crime of Grand Theft, as defined by § 812.014, is knowingly taking, using, or attempting to take something valued at $300 or more without the consent of the owner, and with the intention of depriving the owner of a right or benefit in the property. The degree of the offense is determined by the value and type of property taken.
The State’s attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime of Grand Theft by establishing that all three of the following elements of the crime occurred:
Penalties for Grand Theft in Florida
(1) The defendant knowingly and intentionally took or attempted to take the property of another person. Stolen property can include real property; tangible or intangible personal property; or property rights, privileges, interests or claims.
This means the State of Florida must prove that the defendant knew the property belonged to another person and willfully took the property intending to steal it.
(2) The property was valued at $300 or more.
This means the State of Florida must prove the total market value at the time and place of the offenses, and type of property taken.
(3) The defendant either temporarily or permanently intended to either (a) deprive the other person of their right to their property or the benefit of their property; or (b) take the other person’s property for the defendant’s personal use or for the use of any other person not entitled to the use of the property.
This means the State of Florida must prove the defendant intended to deprive the victim of the use of their rights to the property. The State’s attorney must provide substantial evidence from which intent can be inferred.
Grand Theft in the First Degree
Grand Theft in the First Degree is a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083, or § 775.084, Florida Statutes.
Grand Theft of the First Degree is charged when the property is:
- Valued in excess of $100,000, or a semitrailer deployed by law enforcement
- Interstate or intrastate cargo valued at more than $50,000
- Of any value and the offender used a motor vehicle to assist in committing the offense
- Of any value and the offender caused property damage in excess of $1,000 in the commission of the theft,
Grand Theft in the Second Degree
Grand Theft in the Second Degree is a second degree felony punishable by up to a total of 15 years in prison and/or probation and a fine of up to $10,000, as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083, or § 775.084, Florida Statutes.
Grand Theft of the Second Degree is charged when the property stolen is:
- Valued in excess of $20,000 but less than $100,000
- Interstate or intrastate cargo valued at less than $50,000
- Emergency medical equipment, or law enforcement equipment, valued at $300 or more
Grand Theft in the Third Degree
Grand Theft in the Third Degree is a third degree felony punishable by up to a total of five (5) years in prison and/or probation and a fine of up to $5000, as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083, or § 775.084, Florida Statutes.
Grand Theft of the Third Degree is charged when the property stolen is:
- Valued at $300 or more, but less than $5,000
- Valued at $5,000 or more, but less than $10,000
- Valued at $10,000 or more, but less than $20,000
- A will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument
- A firearm
- A motor vehicle
- Any commercially farmed animal; a bee colony of a registered beekeeper; or an aquaculture species raised at a certified aquaculture facility, with theft of aquaculture species incurring a $10,000 fine
- Any fire extinguisher
- Any amount of citrus fruit consisting of 2,000 or more individual pieces of fruit
- Taken from a designated construction site identified by the posting of a sign
- Any stop sign
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Any amount of a controlled substance
If the Grand Theft occurs in a county under a state of emergency declared by the Governor, the penalty of the offense is escalated by one degree.
If adjudicated guilty of Grand Theft, the offender’s driver’s license can be suspended for six (6) months of for a first conviction, and one (1) year for each subsequent conviction.Defenses to Grand Theft in Florida
- No intent to steal, such as when the defendant has a vested interest in the property taken
- The defendant is the owner or co-owner/joint owner of the property or has a reasonable belief that the property is his/her own property
- Mistaken identity or false accusation
- Consent of the owner or borrowed with the owner’s permission without any intention to deprive the owner of the property
- Valuation of property is unreasonable, property has no market value, or market value cannot be established by a competent witness
- Intentionally stealing a car or truck
- Intentionally failing to return a motor vehicle at the end of the rental or lease period
- Intentionally stealing any item with a value of $300 or more
- Theft or shoplifting of item(s) from a retailer with a total value of $300 or more.
If you have been charged with the crime of Grand Theft Broward, Palm Beach, or Miami-Dade County, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected. The Law Office of Sean Clayton, P.A., can help you better understand your situation and your options. Contact us today for your free consultation.