Grand Theft Questions and Answers
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Grand theft is always a felony offense. As such, grand theft must always be taken seriously by anyone charged with this offense. Based on the value and/or type of property taken, grand theft can be either a first, second, or third degree felony. The law regarding grand theft is complex and the punishment can be severe, therefore, no one should enter a plea unrepresented by an attorney to this offense.
What is the difference between grand larceny and grand theft?
Larceny is the common law term for theft. The modifier grand simply refers to whether the theft offense is a felony.
Grand theft can be a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree felony. What determines this?
Typically, a theft in the amount of $100,000 or more is considered a First Degree Felony. Thefts that involve a value between $20,000 and $99,999.99 are Second Degree Felonies. Thefts involving values between the range of $300 and $19,999.99 are Third Degree Felonies. These are typical monetary amounts, however the law makes exceptions to these amounts as listed below.
Are crimes of theft during an emergency classified differently?
Yes. Certain thefts that would normally be classified as a Second Degree Felony or a Third Degree Felony are enhanced when committed during a designated emergency. Additionally, the Sentencing Level is increased by one. It is not clear if these thefts deal only with the theft of emergency equipment or any theft.
Is certain property theft always considered a felony?
Yes. Specific types of property are always considered felonies even if the value of the object is less than $300. These are things such as automobiles, fire extinguishers, stop signs, and firearms. Additionally, anything stolen from a designated construction site will be considered a felony offense and theft from a person 65 years or older is also enhanced.
What other forms of theft are there in Florida?
Theft can also be considered Fraud. Additionally, what someone does with stolen property can also be considered a crime such a Dealing in Stolen Property. The most serious form of theft is classified as a violent offense when property is taken by force. This is known as Robbery.
Florida Case Law
A defendant may not be convicted of both grand theft and felony shoplifting in concert with others under section 812.015(8), Florida Statutes, for a single incident of theft. Rimondi v. State, 89 So.3d 1059 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).
Failure to instruct the jury that defendant cannot be convicted of both dealing in stolen property and grand theft of the same property is fundamental error (conflict certified). Kablitz v. State, ___ So.3d ___ (Fla. 4th DCA 2011).
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