Flaherty Defense Firm, Fort Walton Beach Criminal Lawyer
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Okaloosa County Theft Attorney

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a theft charge in Okaloosa County, the actions you take now to defend yourself can make an enormous difference in the outcome.

My name is Tim Flaherty. I’m a criminal defense attorney in Okaloosa County. Since 2001, I’ve been defending locals, vacationers, and military members accused of theft crimes. Call me at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation. I am 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 I defend:

What is Theft under Florida law?

Theft is defined by Florida Statute 812.014. The two elements the State must prove before someone can be convicted of theft are:

  1. Defendant knowingly and unlawfully obtained or used the property of the victim.
  2. 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, and Shoplifting/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. I 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 I will also pursue ways to resolve the case with no conviction on your record. In many cases I have been able to secure diversion programs for my clients that result in a full dismissal.

Pretrial Diversion is a resolution that results in dismissal of the theft charge once you complete some conditions. In some cases, restitution and attending a theft awareness course may be ordered. No matter what conditions you have to do, the goal is to get the case dismissed.

Why do I need an Okaloosa County Criminal Defense Attorney?

The answer is simple, if you have arrested for a theft crime, you need an attorney 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.

When you are ready to get the help you need with an Okaloosa County theft charge, call me at (850) 243-6097.

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc.
NORML
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Avvo Clients Choice 2014
The National Trial Lawyers