It’s scary enough to be charged with a felony, but a felony theft conviction gives everyone the impression that you’re a thief and a dishonest person. Protect your reputation and your freedom by taking proactive steps now after a Grand Theft arrest in Crestview.
My name is Tim Flaherty. Since 2001, I’ve been a Crestview grand theft defense attorney who defends locals and military members who are facing criminal charges. My partner’s name is Brandy Merrifield. No matter what you have been accused of stealing, we can help you.
What if the police suspect that I stole from my job and they want to talk to me?
This is very common. If money went missing at work, and you were in a position that had access to the money, the police will probably want to talk to you. The problem with talking to the police without an attorney is that it is easy to make someone look guilty, even if they are completely innocent.
You may not have any idea where the missing money went, but you also may not be able to prove that you didn’t take it. And make no mistake, if you meet with the police, they will be expecting you to prove you didn’t do it. This often leads people to speculate or guess, which makes them seem even more guilty.
Our advice is to politely tell the police that you will not talk to them without an attorney present. Then, call us at (850) 398-8098 and we’ll talk about what to do next.
Grand Theft under Florida Law
Grand Theft is a felony offense that can range from a third degree to a first degree. The amount or value of the stolen property dictates what level of Grand Theft will apply.
A third degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
A second degree felony has a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
A first degree felony has a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
How can an attorney defend me if I’m charged with Grand Theft in Crestview?
We have two priorities in all felony cases we defend:
- Keep our client out of jail/prison, and
- Make sure our client doesn’t end up with a felony on their record.
How to accomplish those 2 goals?
Every case is different, so the strategy will have to be adapted to the facts and circumstances of your particular case. Other factors include the strength of the evidence against you, and whether or not you have a prior criminal record.
The key is that it takes years of experience to be able to adapt and create strategies that give you the best possible chance.
Here is a list of some of the areas to explore:
- Can the State prove that the amount of the theft is sufficient to charge it as a felony? We will not just take their word for it. We will make sure that the amount in question can be independently verified.
- We will carefully review all of the evidence against you. This could include:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Security video
- We will negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. Some of the possibilities include:
- Reduce the charge to a misdemeanor
- Enter into a Pretrial Diversion program. Pretrial Diversion is a contract between you and the State that ensures a full dismissal of all charges if completed. Sometimes, this will be offered if there is an amount of restitution that needs to be paid, and you agree to pay it.
- Accept a probation plea with a withhold of adjudication. If such a plea is entered, you will not be deemed a convicted felon, and you will not lose your right to vote or own firearms.
- No matter what the State offers, it will be your decision whether to accept it.
- We will prepare your case for trial. Most cases settle without a trial, but we don’t want to wait until the last minute to prepare in case negotiations aren’t successful. We will be ready.
- If you qualify, we will file for a Record Expungement or Record Seal. An expungement or seal gives you a fresh start and a clean slate.
We would be glad to talk with you about which options will be available in your case when we meet. The next step is up to you.
If you were arrested for Grand Theft in Crestview, call Flaherty & Merrifield 24/7 at (850) 398-8098 for a free, confidential consultation.