Tampa Theft Crime Lawyer
Theft offenses are often considered to be crimes of dishonesty, which means a conviction can keep you out of many professions, prevent you from testifying in a civil case, and in many instances cost you your job, especially if it is a position of trust or one that involves money or finances. Even a misdemeanor theft charge should be taken very seriously, considering the lasting negative effects a conviction can have on your life. Tampa theft lawyer Donald C. Barrett has years of experience representing people charged with misdemeanor and felony property crimes. With a thorough command of the facts, the law and the circumstances surrounding the arrest, attorney Barrett is often able to have charges dismissed or reduced, negotiate a favorable plea agreement, or provide strong and effective representation at trial. Contact Donald C. Barrett, P.A. if you have been charged with a theft or property offense in Tampa.
Facts about Property Crimes in Florida
Theft is broadly defined under Florida law as taking or using property that belongs to another without intending to return it. A theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property. Theft can even be a life felony for certain crimes involving the use of a firearm.
Shoplifting – Also known as retail theft. This crime involves taking merchandise from a store without paying for it in various ways, including switching price tags and paying less than the correct price. Shoplifting can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending upon the value of the item.
Petit Theft – Theft of property valued at less than $300. Petit Theft is a misdemeanor, with the specific degree depending on the value of the property involved.
Grand Theft – Theft of property with a value over $300. Grand theft is charged as a felony offense. Theft of certain items, such as a firearm or drugs, is a felony regardless of the value of the property.
Other Florida theft offenses include carjacking and grand theft auto, robbery and burglary, larceny, check forgery and dealing in stolen property.
Defense of Theft Charges May be Available
People who are detained by retail store loss prevention officers or law enforcement are often scared into making a confession or pleading guilty to a charge without really understanding the charge and the consequences. The fact is that prosecutors are required to prove every element of the alleged offense if the case goes to trial, and this is not always easy. For instance, you may have taken an item by mistake or been detained before you had the chance to pay for the item, although you fully intended to pay. Attorney Donald C. Barrett conducts a careful investigation of the facts to determine what defenses are available. He will advise you on your options and represent you in plea negotiations or trial to get you the best result.
Call Tampa Defense Lawyer Donald C. Barret after a Theft or Property Crime Arrest
Before you make any statements to anyone regarding your case, or before you decide there is no defense to your case, contact Donald C. Barrett, P.A. at 813-280-1201. We offer a free consultation with an experienced Tampa theft lawyer, so we can let you know your rights and the options available to you.