Grand Theft Attorneys in Okaloosa County
Grand Theft is the unlawful theft of property valued at $300 or more. All grand theft charges are felony offenses. Grand theft is a crime of dishonesty, so an allegation comes with serious implications for your future.
My name is Tim Flaherty. I’ve been a criminal defense attorney in Okaloosa County since 2001. Brandy Merrifield is my partner. We are here to help you, so give us a call at (850) 243-6097.
Grand Theft under Florida Law
Grand theft is defined in Florida Statute 812.014 as: obtaining or endeavoring to obtain property from another person and depriving that person of their property. Grand theft is charged in degrees. The dollar amount of the alleged theft will dictate the degree and the potential sentence for the accusation. Florida Statute §812.014 breaks down grand theft as follows:
- Property valued at more than $300 but less than $20,000; a will; firearm or motor vehicle is considered Third Degree Grand Theft
- Property valued at more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 is considered Second Degree Grand Theft
- Property valued at more than $100,000 is considered First Degree Grand Theft
I have been accused of grand theft in Okaloosa County, what do I do?
If someone is accusing you, but you haven’t been arrested yet for Grand Theft in Okaloosa County, contact a defense attorney immediately. If law enforcement wants to speak with you about a theft allegation, you can count on getting arrested in the near future. Speaking with law enforcement will usually NOT help your cause or keep you from an arrest. In many cases when law enforcement has identified a person of interest but lacks sufficient evidence to arrest someone, they try to get a confession. If law enforcement had enough to arrest you right now, they would. Speaking with law enforcement will only ensure that you give them the ammunition they need to arrest you for the theft charge.
If you are contacted by law enforcement, politely tell them that you will not discuss anything without your attorney present. Then, pick up the phone and call us at (850) 243-6097.
Can I get prison time for a grand larceny charge in Okaloosa County?
Any time a person is facing a felony charge, the outcome could be a prison sentence. While prison is a possible outcome for a Grand Theft charge, it is not a sure thing. Right now you are facing an accusation, nothing more. An accusation is not a conviction and does not automatically mean you will be sent to prison. Depending on the degree of the theft, you can expect the following potential penalties:
Third Degree Grand Theft
- Up to 5 years in prison
- Up to a $5,000 fine
Second Degree Grand Theft
- Up to 15 years in prison
- Up to a $10,000 fine
First Degree Grand Theft
- Minimum prison sentence of 21 months
- Up to 30 years in prison
- Up to a $15,000 fine
Are there any programs for first-time offenders charged with Grand Theft?
First time offenders have the possibility of having their case referred to a diversion program which can result in the case being dismissed. Not all first time offenders qualify for the diversion program. The State does not readily hand out free passes for felony offenses. However, I’ve been defending clients in Okaloosa County since 2001. We’ve had a lot of success helping clients get their Grand Theft charges dismissed.
Defending Grand Theft charges in Okaloosa County
The State is required to give your attorney all of their evidence. We will sift through the police reports, prepare depositions for witnesses and investigate the case. Here is an overview of some of the issues we will look at:
- Did the alleged victim own the property or was their joint ownership?
- Was the property located in a common place or accessible by others?
- What evidence does the State have to prove the property was stolen?
- Were there witnesses?
- Did you have a legitimate right to the property?
- Did you have an intent to steal the property?
- Does the property hold any value?
- What is the value of the property?
- Is the property recoverable?