Okaloosa County Theft Attorney
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a theft charge in Okaloosa County, the actions you take to defend yourself can make an enormous difference in the outcome of your case. An accusation is not a conviction and it is our job to keep it that way. For over 14 years, Tim Flaherty and his team at Flaherty Defense Firm have been representing people just like you. Criminal defense is all we do and we believe that every client deserves an aggressive team to protect their future. If you are ready to employ a criminal theft defense team in Okaloosa County that will fight for your rights and your freedom, contact our office today at (850) 243-6097. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions and give you the peace of mind that you deserve.
Common Theft Offenses in Okaloosa County
There are various theft charges that will be discussed briefly on this page, but you can click on the following links for more detailed information about the most common theft offenses that we defend:
What is Theft under Florida law?
Theft is defined by Florida Statute 812.014, which states the two elements the State must prove before someone can be convicted of theft:
- Defendant knowingly and unlawfully obtained or used the property of the victim.
- Defendant did so with intent to, either temporarily or permanently, (a) deprive a victim of his right to the property or any benefit from it, or (b) appropriate the property for his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it.
Theft is broken down into two categories, misdemeanor and felony. The amount of the theft will determine the level and degree of the charge. Misdemeanor theft includes Petit Theft, Shoplifting, and Retail Theft. Each of these charges carry a maximum sentence of 1 year in county jail or 1 year of probation along with fines and court costs. Felony theft is divided into sub categories based on the value of the property alleged to have been stolen.
Third Degree felony theft charges are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Common charges that fall into this category include:
- Grand Theft between $300-$20,000, also called Grand Larceny
- Credit Card Fraud
- Grand Theft of an Automobile
- Pawn Fraud under $300
Second Degree felony theft charges are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 fine. Common charges that fall into this category include:
- Grand Theft between $20,000-$100,000, also called Grand Larceny
- Dealing in Stolen Property
- Pawn Fraud over $3000
First Degree felony theft charges are punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Common charges that fall into this category include:
- Grand Theft of more than $10,000 from a person over the age of 65
Defenses to an Okaloosa County Theft Accusation
Just because you were accused of or arrested for a theft offense in Okaloosa County does not mean you have been convicted. No criminal theft accusation is hopeless. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain your options and show you the path to a successful outcome. Theft is a crime of intent. This means that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you “intended” to deprive another person of their rightful property. Fighting a theft accusation means demanding that the State prove you had the intent. We will explore every option and defense available to you.
- Did the alleged victim own the property?
- What evidence does the State have to prove the property was stolen?
- Did you have a legitimate right to the property?
- What is the value of the property?
- Is the property recoverable?
While exploring trial and defense options we will also pursue a means for dismissal. In many cases we have been able to secure diversion programs for our clients that result in a full dismissal. Pretrial Diversion is a resolution that results in dismissal of the theft charge once the client completes a series of sanctions. In some cases restitution and attending a course on theft awareness may be ordered. In other cases a short probationary term to ensure that the client does not have further accusations within a specified time may be required. The goal will always be keeping a conviction off your record.
Why do I need an Okaloosa County Theft Defense Attorney?
The answer is simple; if you have been arrested for a theft crime in Okaloosa County, you need a defense team that knows how to protect your record. Do not let fear dictate whether or not you have an advocate on your side. Theft is considered a crime of dishonesty, which means that a conviction could cost you job opportunities, career advancement, or financial freedom. The cost of your freedom and your future rest on who you chose to defend you. You have options. You can enlist the help of the state funded Public Defender whom you may not meet until your court date or you can trust in a firm that has practiced criminal theft defense in Okaloosa County for over 14 years.
When you are ready for an aggressive theft defense team with the reputation and experience necessary to defend you, contact Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097.