Theft Attorney in Jacksonville, FL

Being charged with theft in the state of Florida for any reason comes with the potential of jail time and the possibility of a criminal record that complicates any number of aspects of daily life including being hired for a job and being allowed to rent an apartment.

There are a variety of offenses that fall under the umbrella of a theft charge, and even minor cases of theft are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in Florida, so it is important to retain expert legal counsel well versed in criminal defense and Florida state theft laws if you have been accused of stealing. Darryl Smith is an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney who can help defend you against the charges you face.

What Constitutes Theft in The State of Florida?

The legal term for theft is larceny, and it refers to the wrongful taking, carrying, leading or riding away of property from the possession of its rightful owner. Common theft offenses prosecuted under Florida state law include:


  •         Petit Theft – This involves the stealing of any property or possession valued at less than $300.
    • Petit larceny of property valued at less than $100 is second degree petit theft, and punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of as much as $500.
    • Petit larceny of property valued at $100 or more but still less than 300 dollars is first degree petit larceny, and punishable by a $1000 fine and as much as a year in jail.

  • Grand Theft Involves the act of stealing any property or possession valued at $300 or more.
    • Grand larceny can be ranged from 3rd to 1st degree, and is subject to a litany of exceptions and conditions.
      • The theft of any property valued between $300 and less than $20,000 is considered 3rd degree grand theft.
      • Other offenses that rise to the level of 3rd grand theft include:
        • Theft of a will
        • Theft of a firearm
        • Theft of a motor vehicle, or grand theft auto
        • Theft of a fire extinguisher
      • 3rd degree grand theft is punishable by up to five years in prison or probation, and a fine of $5000.
      • The theft of any property valued at $20,000 but less than $100,000, emergency medical or law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more is considered 2nd degree grand theft.
        • Stealing interstate commerce valued at less than $50,000 is also charged as grand theft: second degree.
        • Grand theft: second degree is punishable by up to 15 years in prison or probation, and a $10,000 fine.
        • 1st Degree grand theft is a felony that can be punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If you’ve been charged with felony theft, know that Darryl Smith is an experienced federal crimes lawyer who can help you navigate this very serious legal situation.
          • A larceny charge rises to the level of 1st degree felony theft if:
            • the property is valued at $100,000 or more
            • a motor vehicle was used to commit the crime and damaged the real property of another party
            • damage to the real or personal property of another in excess of $1,000 was caused during the commission of the crime.
  • Shoplifting Can also be referred to as “retail theft” and describes the act of intentionally taking a retail item or items from a store without paying. Retail theft can also refer to changing price tags, or moving items to cheaper packaging to avoid paying full price for items.
    • Shoplifting is charged as a grand or petit theft crime depending on the value of the property that was stolen.
  • Carjacking – Carjacking is a very different crime than the theft of an unoccupied vehicle because taking a vehicle from a person who is actively in possession of the vehicle implies an element of forcible violence in the act of stealing the car.
    • Carjacking is a first-degree felony that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than 21 months in prison, and $10,000 in fines.
      • Additional charges are added to the carjacking offense if a firearm was used to commit the crime, was discharged while committing the crime, or someone was injured or killed by the firearm in the commission of the crime.
        • In these cases, carjacking can be a crime punishable by as much as 25 years to life in prison.

Criminal Defense Against Theft Charges in The State of Florida

In Florida theft cases, the burden of proof rests primarily on the prosecution. In order to win a conviction on a charge of criminal theft, the prosecution must prove all four aspects of the crime:

  • Knowingly — The defendant must have known full well that they were stealing.
  • Obtaining — The defendant must have active control of the property. This can include hiding the property from the owner.
  • Possession of Property of another — A person cannot be accused of stealing something that belongs to them, or property that has clearly been abandoned.
  • Intent— A person who takes something that doesn’t belong to him is not stealing unless he intends to prevent the owner from having possession. This is the point of the law that distinguishes the serious crime of car theft from a less-serious offense, joy riding.

Contact Darryl R. Smith, Esq For A Theft Lawyer In Jacksonville, FL

Theft charges in Florida are very complex, and Darryl R. Smith, Esq has a wealth of legal knowledge and experience as a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney and advocate with the Public Defender’s Office in Florida. When your freedom and good name is on the line, you cannot afford to take chances with less experienced theft lawyers.

Call Darryl R. Smith, Esq for a free phone consultation where he will go over the particulars of your case, and determine the best course of legal action.


Call Darryl R. Smith, Esq today.

Let Darryl help you!

If you have any questions, call or email Darryl today for a free case review/consultation.

Call : (904) 779-3646 7 days/week 24 hours