Theft Defense Attorney in Orlando, FL
The Legislature in the State of Florida has enacted varying degrees of theft offenses with different maximum and minimum penalties. Any theft charge, from second-degree misdemeanor shoplifting to a first-degree felony grand theft, is a serious offense punishable by potential incarceration. Additionally, a theft charge is considered “a crime of dishonesty” that can be used against you when you apply for a job, during a background employment check, or if you ever testify in a court of law. It is important that you seek the counsel of a qualified Orlando Theft Defense Attorney if you are accused of this crime.
Under the Florida Fingerprint Requirement, anyone found guilty of any level theft charge is required to have their fingerprints taken in court, and the judge is required to affix a written judgment to the file which then becomes a public record. Even if you are not convicted, your name can go into a national database used by employers when they conduct background checks. Additionally, prior convictions for theft can increase the sentence if you are caught re-offending, and in certain cases, the charge can be enhanced based on a prior conviction.
False accusations for theft offenses do occur for numerous reasons. Often times, Property Crimes Detectives from local Law Enforcement Agencies are assigned to investigate theft allegations prior to making a formal arrest. It is extremely important that you consult with an Attorney prior to meeting with a Detective from Law Enforcement. Even if you are not under arrest, Detectives will often use their training and experience to try to illicit a criminal confession from you. Often times, Detectives and Loss Prevention Officers will promise leniency in order to get you to cooperate. However, once your case is turned over to the Office of the State Attorney, your cooperation with a Detective is not given the same weight that you were promised. For this and many other reasons, it is vital to have an Attorney present during all phases of a criminal theft investigation.
If you have been falsely accused of any kind of theft offense and formally arrested, you should act quickly to have an Orlando theft attorney address the issue before a filing decision is made by the State Attorney’s Office. Often times, an Attorney can clear up misunderstandings that may have led to an arrest, prior to a formal charging a criminal information.
In shoplifting cases, the fact that the item was taken out of the store may have been an inadvertent mistake that was caused when the shopper became distracted. Even in cases in which law enforcement believes that the shopper may have taken the item by mistake, the officer may still make an arrest and go forward with a prosecution because of his or her department policy. An attorney can best present your side of the story to law enforcement, the alleged victim and the state attorney’s office in an attempt to convince them not to go forward with a prosecution even days after the incident.
In other cases, theft or shoplifting is a symptom of an underlying psychological problem that can best be addressed outside of the criminal justice system. By being proactive in seeking to counsel, you may be able to show the court, prosecutor, and alleged victim that you do not deserve a jail or prison sentence. Contact an experienced theft attorney early in your case so that you can discuss ways to address the behavior that leads to the accusation in order to obtain the best possible disposition of the criminal case.
If you have been arrested for any type of theft charge, contact the Law Offices of Conan & Herman, P.A. Our free consultations can be scheduled the same day for an office or telephone consultation. If you need a shoplifting, theft or criminal defense attorney for a case in Orange County, Osceola County, Seminole County, Lake County, Polk County, Volusia County, Sumter County, or in any surrounding area, contact our office today.