If you have been charged with felony Grand Theft in Fort Walton Beach, you probably have a lot of questions about how this charge will affect your life and your future. It is important to remember at this stage that no matter how bad things look, there are options. Options that will allow you to put this behind you and move on with your life.

My name is Tim Flaherty. I have been defending clients in Fort Walton Beach and throughout Okaloosa County since 2001. Brandy Merrifield is my partner. She has worked with me since 2007. We understand how worried you are, and we would like to help. Call the Fort Walton Beach grand theft defense lawyers of Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 243-6097.

Grand Theft In Fort Walton Beach under Florida Law

Grand Theft is a felony offense. The degree of felony is determined by the amount, or value, of the property that was taken.

Florida Statute 812.014 defines theft as:

“a person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently, deprive the owner of their right to the property, or appropriate the property to his or her own use.

Levels and Penalties for Grand Theft in Fort Walton Beach

Third Degree Grand Theft

  • The amount of the theft was over $750.00 but less than $20,000.00
  • The victim of the Grand Theft was over the age of 65 and the amount taken was over $300.00 but less than $10,000
  • The Grand Theft took place in a dwelling and the amount was over $100.00 but less than $300.00
  • The item stolen was a firearm, fire extinguisher, or stop sign
  • The item stolen was any amount of controlled substance
  • Punishable by up to 5 years in prison, or 5 years on probation, a $5000.00 fine and the potential for a felony conviction on your record that can never be expunged or sealed.

Second Degree Grand Theft

  • If the amount of the theft was over $20,000.00 but less than $100,000.00
  • If the property stolen was emergency medical equipment valued at $300.00 or more
  • If the property stolen was law enforcement equipment taken from an authorized emergency vehicle valued at $300.00 or more
  • Punishable by up to 15 years in prison, or 15 years on probation, a $10,000.00 fine, and a permanent felony conviction on your record.

First Degree Grand Theft

  • If the victim of the theft was over the age of 65 and the amount stolen was over $10,000.00
  • If the offender uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely as a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense and damages the property of another
  • If in the course of committing the offense the suspect causes damage in excess of $1,000.00 to the property of another
  • Punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a permanent felony conviction

Defending Grand Theft In Fort Walton Beach

Our goals will be to make sure you don’t go to jail and ensure you are not convicted of a felony. Our final goal when the case is resolved will be to expunge or seal your arrest record so this doesn’t follow you forever.

Here are a few defenses or strategies we will use to achieve the best possible result:

  • Investigate the nature of the charge and whether the prosecutor can prove the elements of theft
  • Challenge the amount alleged to have been stolen
  • Determine whether a settlement along with a payment of restitution could help resolve the case favorably
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor for a referral to Pretrial Diversion
  • Negotiate a reduction in the charge to a misdemeanor

Have You Been Arrested For a Robbery in Florida?

If you've been arrested for robbery or theft in Fort Walton Beach, call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 243-6097 for a free, confidential case review.

Brandy Merrifield
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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney