Theft charges have worse penalties when victims are over 65

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

In Florida, anyone charged with theft should be aware of the possibility of serious consequences that can negatively impact their life in myriad ways. However, there are some theft-related crimes that will warrant harsher penalties based on their circumstances. Because there are so many older people residing in and visiting the Sunshine State, anyone who is accused of theft from a person 65 and older needs to know how the penalties will be worse than they would be if it was someone younger.

Know the facts about theft of people 65 and older

There are several factors that are considered with accusations and an arrest for theft of people 65 and older. First, the amount that was stolen will be considered. If it was more than $1,000, there will need to be restitution as well as 500 hours of community service performed. There can also be a sentence that will not impact the community service and requirement to repay the victim – they are separate.

The charges are different if the person stole from someone 65 or older and knew or had reason to know they were in that age range. If the value of what was taken was $50,000 or more, it is a first-degree felony. If it was worth $10,000 or more but less than $50,000, it is a second-degree felony. If it is worth $300 or more but less than $10,000, it is a third-degree felony.

Theft charges need a strong defense

The law is designed to protect all people, but it is particularly serious about punishing people who are accused and convicted of victimizing the elderly with theft and property crimes. Not only are the penalties worse than they are if it is a younger victim, but the conviction could be problematic when the person is seeking to get a job after they have completed their sentence and advance in life.

There might be alternatives to avoid the worst consequences or even a chance at an acquittal. From the start, crafting a viable defense and thinking about how to fight the charges is key and can help with achieving a reasonably positive result.