Wellington FL Petit Theft Defense Lawyers
WITH OFFICES IN BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
The criminal defense lawyers at Arnesen Law represent clients charged with a wide variety of theft and fraud offenses, such as petit theft, prescription fraud, and burglary, in jurisdictions including Wellington, Riviera Beach, and Lantana.
Notably, the firm’s managing partner, Jay Arnesen, has acquired a great deal of knowledge regarding these types of offenses due to his service as a former police officer. His previous experience providing the state with the necessary evidence to prosecute defendants facing theft and fraud charges has endowed him with exceptional insight into the components of a successful defense strategy. Mr. Arnesen now employs this knowledge to better serve his clients who have been charged with these offenses.
With offices conveniently located in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, the lawyers at Arnesen Law are readily available for their clients, whom they successfully represent in courts throughout South Florida. Contact their offices anytime at 561-419-9630 for a free consultation about your case.
“As a former police officer, I used to help prosecute these charges for the State. Now, let me use my training and experience to combat these charges for you in court.” Jay Arnesen, Esq.
Petit Theft – Florida Statutes Section 812.014
Offenses for “petit theft” are addressed in Chapter 812, Section 14 of the Florida Statutes, which governs both petit and grand theft charges and is simply entitled “Theft.”
812.014 states the following with regard to petit theft crimes:
A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:
(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.
Except as provided in paragraph 4(d) (see grand theft), if the property stolen is valued at $100 or more, but less than $300, the offender commits petit theft of the first degree, punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree, as provided in section 775.082 or section 775.083.
Theft of any property not specified in subsection 2 (see grand theft), is petit theft of the second degree and a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in section 775.082 or section 775.083, and as provided in subsection (5), as applicable.
A person who commits petit theft and who has previously been convicted of any theft commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in section 775.082 or section 775.083.
A person who commits petit theft and who has previously been convicted two or more times of any theft commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in section 775.082 or section 775.083.
Petit Theft – Potential Penalties
Third Degree Petit Theft: maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of probation, and fines not to exceed $5,000
First Degree Misdemeanor Petit Theft: maximum term of 1 year in the county jail and fines not to exceed $1,000
Second Degree Misdemeanor Petit Theft: maximum term of 60 days in the county jail and fines not to exceed $500
Petit Theft – The Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program
If you are facing first or second degree misdemeanor charges for petit theft, you may be eligible for Florida’s Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program. This diversionary program is a viable alternative to prosecution for certain eligible defendants who are recommended by the State’s Attorney’s Office. If an individual is accepted into the program, he or she begins a period of probation of either 6 or 12 months, depending on the specific alleged offense. Upon successful completion of program requirements, the original charges are dismissed and the individual is able to avoid a conviction and in turn, a charge on his or her criminal record.
In order to qualify for the Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program, a defendant must meet the following criteria:
- No prior felony convictions
- No more than 2 prior misdemeanor convictions
- Sign a deferred prosecution agreement
Possible conditions of the program may include:
- Community service
- Program fees
- Restitution payments to the victim (if applicable)
- Reporting to a Criminal Justice Officer (at least once per month)
- Random drug/alcohol testing (if applicable)
Contact Our Palm Beach County Petit Theft Defense Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been charged with petit theft in South Florida, find the help you need by contacting the criminal defense lawyers at Arnesen Law. Our lawyers are always available to provide free legal consultations. Call us today about your case at 561-419-9630.