Understanding Florida theft charges
The laws of theft have subtle differences from one state to the next, including in Florida.
Under Florida law, the definition of theft (or larceny, which is specifically theft of personal property) is taking, carrying, riding away with or concealing the property of someone else. This includes theft of motor vehicles and does not necessarily involve any sort of threat, violence or harm to another person.
Some examples of people who could be convicted of theft are:
- A person who has embezzled public money
- A person who has stolen one or more items whose value is at least $750
- A person who has found a checkbook, forged the signature of the checkbook’s owner and used their check to purchase something
- A person who has stolen some sort of motor vehicle.
Some examples of behavior that cannot be charged as theft are:
- A person borrows some item without obtaining permission first
- A person steals at least one item whose value is less than $750
- A person takes the credit card of another person but doesn’t buy anything with that credit card
How is the value of an item or items determined in Florida?
The following are ways that an item’s value is determined:
- The market value of the property at the time of the theft. If that cannot be determined, the value of the item as close to the time of the theft can be used instead.
- The value of a check or promissory note as it is written on the check at the time of the theft.
- The value of proprietary business information that, by being stolen, will cause a negative impact on the business owner because that information will give others an unfair advantage over the business from which it was stolen.
Valuable legal counsel may make a tremendous difference
If you have accused of theft, consulting an experienced Florida theft attorney, who can walk you through the process and educate you on what you may be facing and what you can expect. Having an assertive defense attorney on your side may make a tremendous difference to the outcome of your case and may very well help you to move past your current experience with the law so that you can look to a brighter future.