Theft-related offenses are considered crimes of moral turpitude , which are crimes that involve conduct that is generally considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals. A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude can have adverse affects on one’s ability to secure future employment and/or promotions, professional licensing, or entry into institutions of higher education. Generally, under the laws of the State of Florida, there are two types of theft: grand theft and petty theft. Grand theft generally consists of the theft of something of value over $300, which can generally be anything of value: money, labor or property; while petty theft is the default category for all other kinds of thefts, typically shoplifting.

Theft

Generally, “theft” is defined as a criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person’s consent. Examples of theft-related offenses include:

Petty Theft/Shoplifting

Typically, petty theft cases are shoplifting cases involving the taking of inventory from department stores, grocery stores, convenience stores or drug stores. Petty theft is the taking of any personal property from any person or company which is valued at less than $300.

Grand Theft

Grand Theft is the taking of any personal property from any person or company which is valued at more than $300.

Robbery

Robbery is a felony and is generally defined as the intentional taking of personal property in the possession of another against his or her will. Robbery is thus accomplished by means of force or fear. The fear may be either: (1) the fear of an unlawful injury to the person or property of the person robbed, or of any relative of his or member of his family; or (2) the fear of an immediate and unlawful injury to the person or property of anyone in the company of the person robbed at the time of the robbery. Punishment for robbery is substantial.

Burglary

It can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Burglary is different from robbery because burglary is the unlawful entry into a building or structure with the intent to commit a theft or other felony offense therein. The punishment for burglary depends on whether the dwelling was occupied or not. The penalties for burglary are substantial, especially when it’s a home invasion robbery.

Fraud Crimes

Fraud is the crime of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them-usually to obtain property or services from him or her unjustly. Fraud can be accomplished through the aid of forged objects: the process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents with the intent to deceive. Fraud can be committed through many methods, including the mail, wire, phone and the Internet. Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. The federal government has three general anti-fraud statutes for mail fraud, bank fraud, and wire fraud. Mail fraud is a scheme devised or intending to defraud or for obtaining property and/or money by fraudulent means, and using the mails in furtherance of that fraudulent scheme. The federal wire fraud statute is akin to the mail fraud statute, but requires an interstate or foreign transmittal of a communication by wire, radio, or television. The federal bank fraud statute criminalizes the conduct of any party who “knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice to defraud a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.” Internet crime is defined as any illegal activity involving one or more components of the Internet such as websites, chat rooms and/or email. Internet crime involves the use of the Internet to communicate false or fraudulent representations to consumers. These crimes may include, but are not limited to, advance-fee schemes, non-delivery of goods and/or services, computer hacking, phishing, pharming, programming worms, viruses or employment/business opportunity schemes.

Embezzlement

Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted. Embezzlement has also been defined as the fraudulent conversion of another’s property when the defendant had a fiduciary or other relationship of trust to the property owner. To be guilty of the crime of embezzlement, the person must have had a relationship of trust with the victim. This is why embezzlement typically occurs in employment and corporate settings.

Securities Fraud

Securities fraud is a crime in which laws set to protect investors and securities traders are violated by stockbrokers, analysts, brokerage firms, corporations, investment banks, and private investors. Criminal investigations can lead to imprisonment, even for first time offenders with no criminal history. In addition to the criminal penalties, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) may investigate and impose civil fines against corporations or individuals suspected of securities fraud. Receiving Stolen Property It can apply to “Every person who buys or receives any property that has been stolen, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained…” or if a person “conceals, sells, withholds, or helps to conceal, sell, or withhold any property from the owner.” Depending on the value of the property in question, the crime of receiving stolen property can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The David Chico Law Group has successfully defended individuals charged with virtually every variation of theft-related or fraud crimes. Theft-related or fraud crimes are complex and require a great deal of research and hard work to effectively defend. It is therefore important to hire an attorney who not only has considerable experience in dealing with these types of cases, but one who also has the resources to devote to defending these types of cases. This includes the retention of experienced experts and investigators to carefully examine all of the evidence.

For more information about theft-related or fraud crimes, as applied under the laws of the State of Florida, or to discuss your criminal charges with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please contact us immediately at: 407-933-7703 .