Fort Lauderdale Petit Theft Lawyer

The Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A., can provide you with the legal guidance and help you need when facing petit theft charges.
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Petit Theft Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

The crime of theft can either be grand theft or the lesser offense of petit theft. The latter is sometimes referred to as retail theft or shoplifting, though it does not have to take place in a store.

Petit theft is typically a misdemeanor. However, the punishments can include jail time and fines. You need the right legal representative on your side to help you achieve the outcome you want. Your lawyer may be able to reduce your sentence or even have a judge dismiss the charges.

Elements of Petit Theft

Petit theft is the taking of property that does not belong to you with a value of less than $750. Other aspects of petit theft include:
  • The defendant knowingly and unlawfully obtained the property of the victim.
  • The defendant took the property permanently or temporarily to deprive the victim of his or her right to the property.
  • The defendant appropriated the victim’s property for the defendant’s own use or the use of any person not entitled to it.
Call The Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A., today and schedule a free consultation with our Fort Lauderdale petit theft lawyer.

Intent To Take The Property

For the prosecution to find a defendant guilty of petit theft, criminal intent must be proven. The defendant must display intent to deprive the victim of his or her rights to the property. The prosecution must show that the person intentionally took the property but also that the underlying intentions were to deprive the victim temporarily or permanently of the property.

In a case of petit theft, a jury will decide whether the defendant is guilty or otherwise.

The Penalties For Petit Theft

The penalties for petit theft will depend on the value of the property that the defendant took. The charges can be first-degree petit theft, second-degree petit theft, and felony petit theft.

First-degree petit theft is when the individual steals more than $100 but less than $750. It is a first-degree misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The judge may agree to sentence the person to 12 months of probation instead of jail time.

In second-degree petit theft, the property is less than $100 in value. It is a second-degree misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to six months of probation or 60 days in jail. There could also be a $500 fine.

The harshest type of petit theft is felony petit theft, which is a third-degree felony. Though it still involves the taking of property less than $750 in value, it occurs when the defendant has had two or more theft convictions. A guilty offender could spend up to five years in prison or face five years of probation.

Consult with our Fort Lauderdale petit theft lawyer so you can learn about your rights and discuss a viable defense strategy.

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How Your Lawyer Will Defend You

You can avoid jail time and fines by hiring the right lawyer. Your petit theft attorney has several options when it comes to defense strategies. Your case may be one of mistaken identity or mistaken accusations. Your lawyer may argue that the charge is a result of mistaken identity. The theft could have been an honest mistake, in which case you simply forgot that you had the items. For example, you could have had them in the bottom of a stroller or shopping cart. Your lawyer may also assert that you took the items for a purpose other than to steal.

Pretrial Intervention

If your arrest for petit theft was your first, you might be able to go through what is called a diversion program. With a diversion program, the state will dismiss the charges if you complete certain conditions. These conditions may be community service or restitution payments. You can also complete classes and other forms of rehabilitation. The team at The Law Offices of R. David Williams will know whether this is the right course to pursue. Contact our Fort Lauderdale petit theft lawyer today for a free consultation.
Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Click to Call (954) 522-9997

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  • “Not gonna lie. I was scared at first – of course w anything w laws it’s very scary. But David was very professional , honest and true to his word. I felt so much better and confident that he was definitely gonna help me. And he did !! I’m truly grateful for him and his staff- his assistant Jessica is very warm and kind and is always on top of everything. Thank you guys so much!”

    - Maria Cabrera -

  • “Not gonna lie. I was scared at first – of course w anything w laws it’s very scary. But David was very professional , honest and true to his word. I felt so much better and confident that he was definitely gonna help me. And he did !! I’m truly grateful for him and his staff- his assistant Jessica is very warm and kind and is always on top of everything. Thank you guys so much!”

    - Maria Cabrera -

  • “Not gonna lie. I was scared at first – of course w anything w laws it’s very scary. But David was very professional , honest and true to his word. I felt so much better and confident that he was definitely gonna help me. And he did !! I’m truly grateful for him and his staff- his assistant Jessica is very warm and kind and is always on top of everything. Thank you guys so much!”

    - Maria Cabrera -

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David Williams prides himself on providing personal attention with regard to all aspects of your criminal or traffic matter. David Williams will provide you with a fair fee for the work required and will extend a payment plan that is suitable to your needs for your criminal matter.

Ask a Question,
Describe Your Situation,
Request a Consultation

Call (954) 522-9997 or fill out the short form below. We will usually respond within 1 business day but often do so the same day. Don’t hesitate, your questions are welcome.

* Required Fields

Your Information Is Safe With Us
We respect your privacy. The information you provide will be used to answer your question or to schedule an appointment if requested.

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