Theft Arrests and Property Crime Arrests in Pinellas County, Florida
Florida criminal law is designed to protect the rights of property owners from theft and intentional damage. As a general rule, the greater the value of the property, the penalties become more severe. For that reason, it is important to have an experienced Pinellas County criminal defense lawyer on your side if you are accused of committing a theft or a property crime.
Common Examples of Theft Crimes Include:
- Retail Petit Theft (Shoplifting)
- Petit Theft (Misdemeanor)
- Grand Theft (Felony)
- Utility Theft
- Scheme to Defraud
- Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card
- Worthless Checks
- Dealing in Stolen Property
As indicated above, the value of the property is major factor in determining whether the theft related charge is treated as a felony or a misdemeanor. We can look to see if the value of the item or items has been inflated or exaggerated. The difference may mean that the State must pursue a lesser offense rather than a more serious charge. In addition, there are times where an honest mistake or misunderstanding results in a theft arrest. Having an attorney that can provide your side of the story to the State or the judge in these situations can be critical to establishing a defense.
Theft offenses are considered “crimes of dishonesty or untruthfulness.” A conviction for a crime of dishonesty or untruthfulness can have devastating long term consequences, even if the charge is classified as a misdemeanor. Having a theft offense on your record will damage your ability to obtain employment, hold a professional license, and will greatly affect your credibility in many circumstances. It is our goal to avoid conviction whenever possible, and to achieve an outcome that does not result in tarnishing your reputation or employment.
Common Examples of Property Crimes
Common Examples of Property Crimes Include:
- Trespass to a Structure
- Trespass to a Conveyance (Vehicle)
- Trespass to an Occupied Dwelling
- Trespass to an Unoccupied Dwelling
- Criminal Mischief (Vandalism)
The other major category of property crimes in Florida are those designed to prohibit the unlawful entry onto private property or intentionally causing damage to another’s personal property. Just as with theft offenses, the value of the property can be a deciding factor in whether the arrest is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Again, an experienced criminal defense attorney’s close examination of the property’s value is necessary. Likewise, it may be a defense that your entry on to the property or the damage caused was unintentional or accidental. Having an attorney in your corner who can explain the facts and circumstances leading up to your arrest is essential.
We have designed this website to provide you with immediate answers about the specific theft or property crime that you may be facing. You will find information about your rights, defenses, and possible solutions. Our office cares about our clients. We make every effort to guide you through the process and what is undoubtedly a difficult and stressful time.
If you have been arrested for a theft offense, trespassing, criminal mischief, or another property related crime, our office can help!