Defending Against Theft Charges in Orlando
Payas, Payas & Payas, LLP defends clients from charges of theft throughout the Orlando area. Theft is defined as the act of taking something with the intent to deny the rightful owner possession of it permanently. Two factors impact the severity of the crime: how that act is accomplished and the value of the stolen property. Theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property in question and whether the thief aggravated the offense by introducing an element of violence to the act.
Theft can be committed in the following manners:
Embezzlement — theft by conversion, accomplished when people wrongfully uses property or funds of another for their own purposes
Extortion — theft accomplished through threat of a negative consequence, such as a beating or the public revelation of an embarrassing secret (i.e., blackmail)
Fencing — theft by receiving, is accomplished when somebody accepts, keeps or disposes of property they knew or should have known was stolen
Fraud — theft through deception, where the thief takes possession of an object of value in exchange for something that proves to be worthless
Grand theft auto — applies to every theft of a motor vehicle, regardless of the vehicle’s value
Identity theft — wrongly appropriating the personally identifying information of another person
Larceny — simple taking, which can be petty, when the goods stolen are of little value, or grand, for high—priced items
Robbery — theft accomplished through force or fear of imminent harm
Burglary — entering a premises for the purpose of committing a crime (Typically, that crime is theft, but the burglar could intend another crime, such as assault or rape, so burglary is not automatically a theft crime.)
Armed robbery — robbery enhanced by the possession of a weapon
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Defending against common theft charges in Orlando
It is sometimes possible for an experienced theft attorney to get your charges reduced or dropped by rebutting the mental element (the intent) that the prosecution must prove.
Two examples are:
- Shoplifting — Few shoppers realize they can commit the crime of shoplifting without leaving the store. Concealing an item on your person is enough, if you intend to remove it from the store without paying. So, if you put an item in your pocket because your hands are full and you’re in too much of a hurry to grab a basket, or if you break open a lollypop to keep your toddler quiet, a store with zero tolerance for shoplifting could very well press charges. They might have a difficult time proving you intended to steal, but the process would still be stressful and humiliating for you, unless you had a capable and concerned shoplifting lawyer at your side.
- Joyriding — Because the crime of theft requires the intent to deny the owner possession of an item permanently, joyriding, i.e., taking someone else’s car for a spin and then sneaking it back later, is not technically car theft. However, Orlando teenagers who get caught joyriding for kicks may find it difficult to prove they didn’t intend to steal the car, especially if they have a record of juvenile offenses. A skilled Orlando criminal attorney knows what evidence to introduce to ensure a reduced charge of joyriding, rather than the felony charge of grand theft auto.