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GRAND THEFT

Pursuant to Florida Statute 812.014 Grand Theft is when “ A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:

(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.

(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.

Generally speaking, the crime of Grand Theft involves the unlawful taking of property worth more than $300.

ELEMENTS

To prove the crime of Theft, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant knowingly and unlawfully obtained or used OR endeavored to obtain or to use the (property alleged of the victim.

  1. The defendant  did so with intent to, either temporarily or permanently,

    1. deprive the victim  of his  or her right to the property or any benefit from it.

    1. appropriate the property of the victim to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it.

PENALTIES

Grand Theft has been separated into three separate degrees of crime based solely upon the value of the property taken.

Grand Theft of the First Degree

Grand Theft of the First Degree is committed if the property taken:

  • Is worth more than $100,000.00

  • Is shipping cargo worth more than $50,000.00

 Grand Theft of the First Degree is a First Degree Felony and is punishable by up to 30 years in Florida State Prison and a $10,000.00 fine.

Grand Theft of the Second Degree

Grand Theft of the Second Degree is committed if the property taken:

  • Is worth less than $100,000, but more than $20,000.00

  • Is shipping cargo worth less than $50,000.00

  • Is emergency medical equipment worth more than $300.00

Grand Theft of the Second Degree is classified as a Second Degree Felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison and $10,000.00 fine.

Grand Theft of the Third Degree

Grand Theft of the Third Degree is committed if the property taken:

  • Is worth less than $20,000.00 but more than $300.00

  • Is a will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument.

  • Is a firearm.

  • Is a motor vehicle.

Grand Theft of the Third Degree is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison and a $5,000.00 fine.

On the essential elements in proving a theft is proving the value of the item allegedly taken.  Mere proof of the nature of the stolen property is generally insufficient to sustain a conviction for grand theft. The state acknowledges that proof of the element of value is essential and must be established by the state beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.  Randolph v. State, 608 So. 2d 573 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992). “Value” is an essential element of grand theft that must be proven by the State beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. Sanchez v. State, 101 So. 3d 1283 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).

For purposes of the Florida theft statutes, fair market value may be established either through direct testimony or through production of evidence relating to all of the following four criteria: (1) the original cost, (2) the manner in which the items were used, (3) their general condition and quality, and (4) the percentage of depreciation. Sanchez v. State, 101 So. 3d 1283 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).

For more information on Grand Theft please contact Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney David J. Sobel at 954-383-3000