A person commits criminal theft if he or she knowingly obtains, uses, or endeavors to obtain or use the property of another with the criminal intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive the true owner of the property or a benefit of it. A person also commits criminal theft if he or she takes the property for his or her own use or for the use of anyone not entitled or permitted to use the property. Larceny is the trespassory taking and carrying away of the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive him or her of the property. Larceny by Trick occurs where a victim is swindled into relinquishing possession, not title, of property to the swindler, due to the victim’s reliance on the swindler’s misrepresentations, exaggerations, false promises, or lies. To prove the criminal offense of Theft, the State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect knowingly and unlawfully obtained, used, endeavored to obtain, or endeavored to use the property or belongings of the victim, and that he or she did so with the intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive the victim of his or her right to the property or any benefit from it, or to appropriate or steal the property of the victim to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it. If the jury finds the criminal suspect guilty of theft, then the jury must determine by verdict whether the value of the property taken was $100,000 or more, whether the property taken was cargo valued at $50,000 or more that has entered the stream of commerce from the shipper’s loading platform to the consignee’s receiving dock, whether the property taken was cargo valued at less than $50,000 that has entered the stream of commerce from the shipper’s loading platform to the consignee’s receiving dock, whether the property taken was emergency medical equipment valued at $300 or more that was taken from a licensed facility or from an emergency medical aircraft or vehicle, whether the value of the property taken was $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, whether the value of the property taken was $300 or more but less than $20,000, whether the value of the property taken was less than $300, whether the property was a will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument, a firearm, a motor vehicle, a commercially farmed animal, an aquaculture species raised at a permitted aquaculture facility, a fire extinguisher, a street sign, anhydrous ammonia, 2,000 or more pieces of fruit, including whether the property was taken from a posted construction site, and whether the value of the property taken was $100 or more but less than $300, and was taken from a dwelling, or the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling. Proof that a person presented false identification not current in respect to name, address, place of employment, or other material aspect in connection with the leasing of personal property, or proof that a person failed to return leased property within 72 hours of the termination of the leasing agreement, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that the property was obtained or is now used with unlawful intent to commit theft. Proof of possession of recently stolen property, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that the person in possession of the property knew or should have known that the property had been stolen. “Cargo” means partial or entire shipments, containers, or cartons of property which are contained in or on a trailer, motor truck, aircraft, vessel, warehouse, freight station, freight consolidation facility, or air navigation facility. “Emergency medical equipment” means mechanical or electronic apparatus used to provide emergency service and care or to treat medical emergencies. “Emergency service and care” means medical screening, examination, and evaluation by a physician, or other medically appropriate personnel under the supervision of a physician, to determine if an emergency medical condition exists, and if it does, the care, treatment, or surgery by a physician necessary to relieve or eliminate the emergency medical condition, within the service capability of the facility. “Licensed facility” means a hospital, ambulatory surgical center, or mobile surgical facility licensed by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. “Emergency medical aircraft or vehicle” means any aircraft, ambulance, or other vehicle used as an emergency medical service vehicle that has been issued a permit in accordance with Florida law. “Obtains or uses” means any manner of taking or exercising control over property, making any unauthorized use, disposition, or transfer of property, obtaining property by fraud, willful misrepresentation of a future act, or false promise. Theft includes conduct previously known as stealing, larceny, purloining, abstracting, embezzlement, misapplication, misappropriation, conversion, or obtaining money or property by false pretenses, fraud, deception, or other conduct similar in nature. “Endeavor” means to attempt or try. “Property” means anything of value, and includes real property, including things growing on, affixed to and found in land, tangible or intangible personal property, including rights, privileges, interests, and claims, and services. “Services” means anything of value resulting from a person’s physical or mental labor or skill, or from the use, possession, or presence of property, and includes repairs or improvements to property, professional services, private, public or government communication, transportation, power, water, or sanitation services, lodging accommodations, and admissions to places of exhibition or entertainment. “Value” means the market value of the property at the time and place of the offense, or if that value cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the criminal offense. In the case of a written instrument that does not have a readily ascertainable market value, such as a check, draft, or promissory note, the value is the amount due or collectible. In the case of any other instrument that creates, releases, discharges or otherwise affects any valuable legal right, privilege, or obligation, the value is the greatest amount of economic loss that the owner of the instrument might reasonably suffer by virtue of the loss of the instrument. The value of a trade secret that does not have a readily ascertainable market value is any reasonable value representing the damage to the owner suffered by reason of losing an advantage over those who do not know of or use the trade secret. If the exact value of the property cannot be ascertained, you should attempt to determine a minimum value. If you cannot determine the minimum value, you must find the value is less than $300. Amounts of value of separate properties, involved in thefts committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether the thefts are from the same person or several persons, may be totaled in determining the grade of the criminal offense. If you have been arrested or criminally charged with Larceny, Larceny by Trick, Theft, Petit Theft, or Grand Theft, it would be advantageous to call a criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights as the defendant in a criminal law case. Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett of Hassett and Associates, P.A. is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has been practicing since 1991 in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County. Criminal defense lawyers can represent you in the face of criminal charges of the State Attorney. Kenneth P. Hassett is a criminal lawyer who will fight hard to battle the criminal charges in your case. Contact Hassett and Associates, P.A. 24 hours per day seven days per week for an immediate free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer.
The information on this page does not represent legal advice. Florida Statues obtained from Online Sunshine, www.leg.state.fl.us, the official site of the Florida Legislature. Because the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained herein may be out of date. It is always wise to seek counsel from an experienced criminal attorney like Kenneth Hassett.
If you have been charged as an Accessory After the Fact or a Principal in the First Degree to a criminal offense in Broward or Miami-Dade County, call Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett.