Seminole County Theft Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with theft in Seminole County please contact Chris S. Boatright, P.A. at 407-740-8300 to discuss what options may be available to get your theft charge dismissed or reduced. One way to get your theft charge dismissed is by completing a Pre-Trial Diversion program. Not every theft case is eligible for a Pre-Trial Diversion program.
Driver License Suspension
A conviction for a misdemeanor theft or grand theft may cause your drivers license to be suspended.
Former Theft Prosecutor
As a former theft prosecutor Chris has an understanding of what can be important to the prosecutor in your Seminole County theft case. It is important to understand how the other side works. Chris uses this understanding to determine what needs to be done to get the best possible outcome in your theft case.
Seminole County Theft Defense Lawyer Since 1999
Chris has been defending individuals in Seminole County charged with theft since 1999. Being an Seminole County theft defense lawyer for so long has given Chris the opportunity to spend a lot of time working with the judges and prosecutors in Seminole County that handle theft cases like yours. Experience dealing with those judges and prosecutors is important in achieving the best results in your theft case.
Different Seminole County Theft Defense Lawyers Get Different Results
When you have been charged with any type of theft in Seminole County you need an aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable lawyer like Chris to defend you. A theft conviction will stay on your record forever, therefore, it is important to be represented by the right lawyer. The better prepared you are for your court appearance the more likely it is you will get a favorable outcome. The best results possible are rarely obtained by just hoping for them. Get the help you need at Chris S. Boatright, P.A. to get the best results possible.
Information About Seminole County Theft Charges
The cost of the item or items allegedly stolen determines if a theft charge is a felony or misdemeanor. Misdemeanor theft charges are called petit theft. Felony theft charges are called grand theft. Shoplifting is a theft charge that can be petit theft or grand theft depending on the cost of the item allegedly stolen.
Misdemeanor theft is categorized into two degrees. The value of the property stolen determines the degree of the misdemeanor theft.
- If the value of the stolen property is less than $100, the crime is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail and/or 6 months probation and/or a $500 fine.
- If the value of the stolen property is $100 or more but less than $300, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 365 days in jail and/or 12 months probation and/or a $1,000 fine.
Grand theft is categorized into three degrees. The value of the property stolen determines the degree of the grand theft.
- If the value of the stolen property is greater than $300 but less than $20,000, the crime is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years of probation and/or a $5,000 fine.
- If the value of the stolen property is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, the crime is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison and/or 15 years of probation and/or a $10,000 fine.
- If the value of the stolen property is $100,000 or more the crime is a first-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison and/or 30 years of probation and/or a $10,000 fine.
GRAND THEFT MOTOR VEHICLE
A person commits grand theft motor vehicle if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the motor vehicle of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently; deprive the other person of a right to the motor vehicle or a benefit from the motor vehicle; or appropriate the motor vehicle to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the motor vehicle. Grand theft motor vehicle is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years probation and/or a $5,000 fine unless the vehicle is valued at $100,000 or more then it is a first-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison and/or 30 years probation and/or a $10,000 fine.
In order for the State of Florida to prove you committed the crime of theft, the State need’s evidence. Normally, the law enforcement officer’s report contains a statement of the evidence against you. However, there may be other evidence in your case which the law enforcement officer failed to document in the report. It is essential for you and your attorney to review all of the evidence in your case before preparing your defense. Some important questions are:
- Were there any witnesses to the incident and if so did they provide a statement?
- Was the incident recorded by videotape?
- What is the actual value of the property allegedly stolen?
- Was the property recovered?
The United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution both guarantee that people be free from self-incrimination. In order for a person to give up their privilege against self-incrimination the person must do so freely voluntarily and knowingly and that is why a person is normally advised of their Miranda rights after arrest but prior to any questioning by a law enforcement officer. It is important for you to know if your privilege against self-incrimination was violated. If your privilege against self-incrimination was violated evidence in your case may be inadmissible. Some important questions to consider are:
- Were you questioned by a law enforcement officer after you were arrested?
- Did you make any statements that are harmful to your case?
- Were you read your Miranda rights?
Civil Demand Letter
If your alleged theft was from a store then you probably will receive a letter from the store or from a law firm on behalf of the store within 30 days of the alleged theft requesting you to pay $200 to avoid the store suing you to recover loss prevention costs. This request is a separate matter from the pending criminal case and should be discussed with your lawyer upon receipt.
Seminole County Pretrial Diversion Program For Misdemeanor Theft Charges
This is a deferred prosecution program for selected misdemeanor charges and for selected individuals. This program is offered by the Office of the State Attorney and supervised by Seminole County Community Corrections. Successful completion of the Seminole County Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program will result in the dismissal of your charge(s) by the Office of the State Attorney.
- You must have no prior sentence, conviction or dismissal for a similar charge, no prior felony convictions, no prior convictions for charges ineligible for diversion, and no prior adult diversion/deferred prosecution programs.
- You must be a legal resident of the United States.
- You must have no more than one prior misdemeanor conviction.
- Your charge(s) must have no more than $1,000 in restitution.
- You must be approved by the Office of the State Attorney.
- Program length is 6 months
- Program cost is $300
- Program intake fee is an additional $20
- Program drug testing fee is an additional $17
- Program phone reporting fee is an additional $6-$7 per month
- Program Office of the State Attorney fee is an additional $100
- You must perform a minimum of 40 hours of alternative community work service
- You will also successfully complete an impulse control/theft prevention class
- No return to the store.
- You are responsible for any additional costs for classes and evaluations.
Seminole County Pretrial Diversion Program For Grand Theft Charges
If you successfully complete the Seminole County Pretrial Diversion Program the charge(s) you were placed in the program for will be dismissed.
This a 12 month long program with the following requirements:
1.) You must refrain from violation of any federal, state or local law. If you are arrested or charged with a crime while in the pretrial diversion program, you are subject to automatic revocation whether the crime occurred before or after the signing of the pretrial diversion contract.
2.) You must associate only with law abiding persons.
3.) You must work regularly at a lawful occupation; or pursue a course of studies as a full-time student, or both. Employment must be verified by documentation only within the first 30 days of supervision. Thereafter, employment verification shall be made every other month.
4.) You must take an active part in counseling and attend all scheduled appointments. You must participate in and be responsible for program costs of any referrals your pretrial diversion officer recommends. Referrals may include, but are not limited to participation in drug/alcohol counseling, a mental health evaluation, urine screenings, General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
5.) You must immediately inform the Pretrial Diversion Program of any anticipated or unanticipated change in your residence or your employment. It is your obligation to notify the Pretrial Diversion Program of any change in your address and to comply with residence verification instructions. Should it be determined that you have moved from your reported residence or changed employment, without notice to the Pretrial Diversion Program, and are no longer able to be contacted through your reported mailing address, you are subject to automatic revocation. If you have been arrested in this case, you must also notify the Clerk of the Court for Seminole County, Florida, preferably in writing, of your address change. No Out-of-Country Travel will be approved while participating in the Pretrial Diversion Program. All Notices, summonses, or other mail will be sent to your current address. If you fail to appear in court due to paperwork being sent to an old address, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and you may be revoked from the Pretrial Diversion Program.
6.) You will promptly and truthfully answer all questions directed to you by your Pretrial Diversion Program Officer.
7.) You must pay a Cost of Supervision fee of $20.00 a month to the State of Florida as required by Florida Statute Section 948.08 unless otherwise exempted in compliance with the Florida Statutes. All monies collected by the Florida Department of Corrections will be subject to a 4% surcharge. There will be a one-time drug testing fee of $30.00.
8.) You will complete 100 hours of Alternative Community Service (ACS). ACS and all sanctions must be completed sixty days prior to the expiration of this contract or sixty days prior to any subsequent expiration date resulting from an extension or as determined by a Review Board Panel.
9.) Once the Defendant has satisfied all sanctions, early termination is acceptable.
10.) You must pay a $100.00 non-refundable cost of prosecution fee to the State of Florida within 60 days as required by Florida Statute Section 938.27.
11.) You must successfully complete an approved anti-theft/impulse control class.
12.) No return to the location of the alleged incident.
13.) You may also be required to submit to random urine screenings for drugs. Any drug test with a positive result is a violation of the Pretrial Diversion Program Agreement, and may result in additional consequences or revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.
In order to be eligible for the Pretrial Diversion Program you must have no criminal history (arrests, convictions, or cases in which adjudication of guilt has been withheld, whether as a juvenile or adult), or if you have a prior criminal history, you must disclose it to the Pretrial Diversion Program. If it is found that you not been fully candid on this issue, you are subject to revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.
If you fail to comply with any of the above conditions, your case may be subject to the following action, depending upon the violation.
- Your officer may extend the period of diversion to a term not to exceed 3 months from the date of the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract, or
- The Review Board may add additional special conditions or otherwise modify this contract, or
- Revoke the Pretrial Diversion Program contract and the State Attorney will prosecute you for this offense.
A Review Board comprised of an Assistant State Attorney and a representative of the Florida Department of Corrections, Pretrial Diversion Program, has been established for the purpose of reviewing any proposed revocation or modification of your Pretrial Diversion Program Contract. Your Pretrial Diversion Officer will attend this hearing. Modification of your Pretrial Diversion Program Contract may occur if you agree to the modification, by Review Board decision. At Review Board Hearings, evidence establishing violations of conditions of the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract will be heard. You will be given notice of this hearing and may attend and present any evidence you have in your defense and/or any evidence you have to establish matters in mitigation. Failure to appear will result in automatic revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program. The Review Board, after hearing and considering all evidence, will render a decision in writing, citing the reasons for that decision. All members of the Review Board must agree to revocation or modification. In its written decision, the Review Board will state whether it has decided to revoked the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract or allow the Defendant to continue in the Pretrial Diversion Program. If the agreement is modified, the modifications made by the Review Board will be stated. If you are revoked from the Pretrial diversion Program, you will be prosecuted for the original criminal violation. The Defendant is bound by the decision of the Review Board. The Pretrial Diversion Contract is an agreement that is a deferral of prosecution. If the terms of the agreement are met, the initial charge will be dropped and the State of Florida will be barred from prosecution. If the terms of the agreement are violated, prosecution concerning any charge will proceed.
Seminole County Theft Charge Penalties
A conviction for theft can result in many different penalties. It is important for you to know what penalties you may be facing. Some of the penalties for a theft conviction may include:
- Time in Jail or Prison
- Community Service
- Loss of your driving privileges
- Cost of Investigation
- Cost of Prosecution
- Court Costs
*All program fees and costs are subject to change without notice.*