Though generally nonviolent, property crimes are not victimless. Many people are surprised to hear that offenses such as burglary and arson are punishable as felonies. If you are arrested for committing any type of theft — from petty theft to auto theft — we can provide you with competent representation at McShane & McShane Law Firm, P.A. Our lawyer quickly reviews your case, protects your rights and determines the fastest and most effective way of preserving your freedom.
Petty theft, a misdemeanor and the simplest form of larceny, involves the theft of items valued at less than $300. The degree of the misdemeanor depends on the circumstances of your case and the value of the product that the police allege you stole. Shoplifting, one of the most common forms of theft, may be prosecuted as a first- or second-degree felony if the value of the goods stolen is high enough. For example, if you are arrested for stealing merchandise valued at more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, you’re facing charges for a felony in the second degree.
According to Florida Statute 812.014, people commit a theft when they:
One person taking a motor vehicle from another person permanently qualifies as carjacking, a serious form of theft. This crime is a felony in the first degree, punishable by life imprisonment if a deadly weapon is used.
Many people confuse burglary and theft, but they are not the same. Theft is taking someone else’s property, and burglary is the unlawful entering of a dwelling or structure with the intent to commit a crime therein. In Florida, the burglary of a dwelling is a felony in the second degree, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation and $10,000 in fines. Keep in mind that these penalties are only for the crime of burglary — not for any other crimes you may commit once you enter the dwelling. Furthermore, subsequent burglary charges can result in even more serious penalties. However, with the guidance of a skilled criminal law attorney, you can fight back and you may be able to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether.
Someone who willfully destroys property or buildings by the use of fire commits arson. The degree of arson varies based on the damage, intent, type of structure and whether anyone was harmed or killed as a result of the blaze. For example, if you are accused of setting fire to a building you knew to be occupied by people, you’re facing charges of arson in the first degree, which is a felony in the first degree, punishable by not more than 30 years in jail and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000. Even if you accidentally start a fire during the commission of another felony, you are still charged with arson.
Whether you are accused of arson, shoplifting or auto theft, our legal team at McShane & McShane Law Firm, P.A. wants to fight passionately for your rights. Call 407-648-1500 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with our attorney. Our office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and our office is conveniently located near mass transit. Se habla español.