It is very difficult to accurately estimate or calculate how many incidences of theft occur each year in Florida because there are many different types of theft crimes. As murder, theft is also divided in different levels of crime, and those levels depend primarily on the severity of the burglary. If you have been arrested and charged with a theft crime, you may have a legal defense. Contact My Key West Lawyers who will aggressively defend your rights. In order to properly fight back against this charge, it is also important to familiarize yourself with different types of theft crimes.
Different Types of Theft Crimes
Under Florida Statutes, specifically chapter 812, theft crimes are classified as either felony crimes or misdemeanor crimes. The type of theft crime for which you may be charged depends on the value of the property alleged to be stolen. One of the most common minor cases of thievery is petty theft. Petty theft includes stealing a small item such as bike. Shoplifting small items like clothes is also considered a common type of petty theft. If the value is less than $300, in most cases the charge for your crime will be considered a misdemeanor. However, if you have stolen something expensive, such as car, you have considered grand theft. Grand theft is committed if the value of the stolen items or goods is equal to or greater than $300. In that case, the crime charged for will most likely be a felony.
Burglary is a different type of crime and it has nothing to do with petty theft. Burglary is defined as breaking into a property (or entering into a property illegally) with the intent of committing a crime, especially theft. In case you break into a property and threat the owner with a weapon, you will probably be charged with armed robbery. Have in mind that no physical breaking and entering is required in order to be charged with a burglary. If the offender simply trespasses through an open door with the intent of committing the crime, he or she has committed a theft crime defined as a burglary. However, if the offender used force or fear to obtain another person’s property, he will be charged for robbery. Usually, during a burglary, there is no victim present. Apart from burglary and robbery, an offender can also commit larceny. If a person takes and carries away someone else’s property with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of that property, that person will be charged with larceny.
Another type of thievery is motor vehicle theft, or grand theft auto. This crime includes stealing any type of motorized vehicles that move by land such as motorbike, a scooter, a truck or a car. It doesn’t include motorized water vehicles or agricultural machinery. Lastly, a growing from of theft includes white-collar crimes such as fraud and identity theft. White-collar crime refers to financially motivated nonviolent crime that can be committed either by a business or by government professionals. Frauds and identity thefts are committed in order to steal money or other benefits from the victim. A fraudulent conversion of funds from the rightful owner’s name to another person is called embezzlement. The crime is usually committed by one or more individuals to whom the assets were entrusted, such as the bank or a trustee. Lastly, if someone is charged with false pretenses, the offender has used false representations with the intent to illegally obtain money or certain property from someone by deception.
In the Florida Keys (Key West, Big Pine Key, Marathon, Islamorada, Plantation Key, Key Largo, and Tavernier), the Key West Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Monroe County Florida Office of the State Attorney investigate and aggressively pursue all types of theft crimes. If you have been charged with any type of theft crime, you should contact an experienced Key West criminal defense lawyer to assist you as soon as possible.