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Theft and Robbery

When it comes to theft, fraud, and white-collar crimes, it’s crucial to understand the laws and the potential consequences of a conviction. In Florida, theft encompasses a wide range of offenses, including shoplifting, robbery, and intellectual property theft. If you find yourself facing these charges, it’s imperative to seek legal representation to protect your rights and future. W.F. Casey Ebsary Jr. is here to help you navigate these challenging situations and minimize the impact of a conviction. Call (813) 222-2220 to get started on your defense today.

How long does a petty theft stay on your record in Florida?

Top Ten Florida Theft Defenses

Theft under Florida law occurs when an individual “obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the property of another” (Florida Statutes, Chapter 812). This definition encompasses a range of theft crimes, including shoplifting, robbery, and theft of intellectual property or trade secrets. If you’re facing theft charges in Florida, it is crucial to seek expert legal guidance. Understanding the top defenses against these charges can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Top Ten Florida Theft Defenses

Understanding Theft Crimes in Florida

Definition and Types of Theft Crimes

Under Florida Statute 812.014, theft is broadly defined to include various acts where someone unlawfully takes or attempts to take someone else’s property. These crimes include:

  • Shoplifting: Stealing items from a retail establishment.
  • Robbery: Taking property from someone through force or threat.
  • Intellectual Property Theft: Illegally using someone’s intellectual property or trade secrets.

Top Defenses Against Theft Charges

1. Lack of Intent

One of the strongest defenses against theft charges is proving a lack of intent. Florida law requires that the prosecution prove the defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of their property. Demonstrating that the accused had no such intent can lead to a dismissal of charges.

2. Mistaken Identity

In cases where theft occurs in crowded or poorly monitored areas, mistaken identity can be a valid defense. If the accused can show they were not present at the crime scene or were wrongly identified by witnesses, the charges may be dropped.

3. Ownership Dispute

Sometimes, what appears to be theft is actually a misunderstanding over ownership. If the defendant believed they had a right to the property, this can serve as a defense. Documentation or testimony supporting this belief is critical.

4. Entrapment

Entrapment occurs when law enforcement induces a person to commit a crime they otherwise would not have committed. If you can prove entrapment, showing that the idea of committing theft was introduced by someone else, you may avoid a conviction.

Why You Need Expert Legal Guidance

Navigating theft charges requires a deep understanding of Florida’s legal system and its statutes. An experienced attorney can evaluate the specifics of your case, develop a strong defense strategy, and guide you through the legal process. Don’t face theft charges alone—seek professional legal assistance immediately.

5. Consent

If you can prove that the property owner gave consent for you to take or use the property, this can be an effective defense. Consent can be shown through written agreements, verbal permissions, or other forms of communication.

6. Insufficient Evidence

The prosecution must provide concrete evidence to prove theft. If the evidence is circumstantial or weak, a skilled attorney can challenge the sufficiency of this evidence, potentially leading to a dismissal or reduction of charges.

7. Duress

Duress involves committing a crime because of immediate threat or coercion. If you were forced to commit theft under threat of harm, this can serve as a defense. Detailed testimony and evidence of the threats can support this claim.

Call to Action: Secure Legal Help Now

Facing theft charges can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Contact an experienced Florida theft defense attorney today to start building your defense and protect your rights.

8. Mistake of Fact

A mistake of fact occurs when the defendant had a reasonable belief that the property belonged to them or they had a right to it. For instance, taking an item you genuinely believed was yours or given to you can be a defense.

9. Alibi

An alibi defense involves proving that the accused was somewhere else when the crime occurred. Witnesses, receipts, video footage, or other evidence showing your whereabouts can support an alibi defense.

10. Impossibility

Impossibility as a defense applies when it was impossible for the defendant to commit the crime. This could be due to the physical location, timing, or other factors that prove the accused could not have committed the theft.

Conclusion: Protect Your Future

Theft charges can carry severe penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and a permanent criminal record. However, by understanding and utilizing these top ten defenses, you can fight the charges and protect your future. It’s crucial to act quickly and secure legal representation to navigate the complexities of theft laws in Florida.

Don’t wait—consult with a qualified Florida theft defense attorney today to ensure your rights are protected and to build a strong defense strategy. For more detailed information on theft statutes, visit the Florida Statutes, Chapter 812 on the official website.

By following these defenses and securing expert legal guidance, you can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome in your theft case. Remember, the sooner you act, the better your chances of protecting your rights and your future. Contact a skilled Florida theft defense attorney now and take the first step towards resolving your case.

The Consequences of a Theft Conviction

A conviction for theft can have long-lasting, detrimental effects on your life. It can affect your employment opportunities, housing prospects, and many other aspects of your future. Avoiding a criminal conviction is of utmost importance. Our experienced legal team is here to help you in your time of need. If you have received a Notice to Appear in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, or elsewhere in Florida, take action to address your case and put this chapter behind you.

Misdemeanor Theft

One of the most commonly charged offenses in Hillsborough County is Misdemeanor Theft, specifically, PETIT THEFT 1st (THEF1010). This offense is defined under Florida Statutes Section 812.014 as when a person “knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another.”

Felony Theft and Robbery

In some cases, misdemeanor theft can escalate to a felony, particularly when fear of force is involved. ROBBERY (LESS THAN $300) or ROBB3000 is often charged in Hillsborough County. Under Florida Law Section 812.13, “Robbery” is defined as the taking of money or other property from the person or custody of another, with the use of force, violence, assault, or putting the victim in fear.

A Felony Theft occurs when the stolen property’s value exceeds $750.00, defined as THEF2001. This offense is also one of the most commonly charged offenses in Hillsborough County. Florida Statute 812.014.2C1 states that a person commits theft when they knowingly obtain or use another person’s property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of their rights to the property or its benefits.

Another way to commit felony theft is to steal a car, known as GRAND THEFT MOTOR VEHICLE (THEF2201 or THEF2200). This crime involves knowingly obtaining or using another person’s vehicle with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive them of their property rights or benefits.

Theft and Robbery Lawyer

When you find yourself facing theft or robbery charges, it’s essential to seek expert legal guidance to protect your rights and future. We are here to provide a solution. Call us today at (813) 222-2220 for a free initial consultation. If it’s more convenient for you, we respond promptly to your call for help through our Call a Lawyer For Help web submission. We are constantly checking and responding, and we’ll quickly get back to you via telephone or email.

Understanding Florida’s Theft Statutes

Florida’s theft statutes define different degrees of theft offenses, each carrying varying degrees of severity and potential penalties. Let’s break down the key provisions:

  • First Degree Grand Theft (2)(a) 1.: This offense involves property valued at $100,000 or more or a semitrailer deployed by a law enforcement officer. It also covers theft of cargo valued at $50,000 or more that has entered interstate or intrastate commerce. If a motor vehicle is used to commit the offense and causes damage to real property or personal property in excess of $1,000, it’s considered grand theft in the first degree, a felony of the first degree.
  • Second Degree Grand Theft (b) 1.: This offense involves property valued at $20,000 or more but less than $100,000. It also covers theft of cargo valued at less than $50,000 that has entered interstate or intrastate commerce. Other covered categories include emergency medical equipment, law enforcement equipment, and more. If the theft occurs within a county subject to a state of emergency and is facilitated by emergency conditions, it becomes a felony of the first degree.
  • Third Degree Grand Theft (c): This offense covers property stolen in various value ranges, from $750 or more but less than $5,000 to $10,000 or more but less than $20,000. It also includes theft of a will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument, a firearm, a motor vehicle (except as provided in paragraph (a)), and more.
  • Petit Theft of the First Degree (e): If the property stolen is valued at $100 or more but less than $750, it constitutes petit theft of the first degree, a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Criminal Defense Attorney Reviews

Casey Ebsary Jr. has a strong track record of success in defending against theft charges. One client praised his strong arguments during a hearing, which resulted in the dismissal of all three charges. With a 4.9/5-star rating, you can trust in his expertise to fight for your rights.

Contact Information

If you’re facing theft, fraud, or white-collar crime charges in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out for expert legal defense. The Law Office of W.F. Casey Ebsary Jr. is located at 2102 W Cleveland St, Tampa, Florida 33606. You can contact them at (813) 222-2220 or via email at centrallaw@centrallaw.com.

White Collar Defense

In addition to theft crimes, W.F. Casey Ebsary Jr. is also well-equipped to handle white-collar criminal defense cases. These cases often involve internet, computer crimes, cybercrimes, and computer fraud. Casey’s extensive experience and knowledge allow him to assist clients and attorneys in navigating the complexities of white-collar crimes where a computer may be a key piece of evidence.

His litigation experience encompasses money laundering, fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, and theft. He’s well-versed in high-tech litigation in information systems and has practical business experience in international banking and currency transactions. This diverse background provides him with a practical understanding of the complexities of these cases and helps prosecutors, Assistant United States Attorneys, and judges appreciate the nuances of your situation.

White Collar Defense – We Can Fight

Whether you’re facing white-collar criminal allegations in state or federal courts, W.F. Casey Ebsary Jr. can provide the expert legal defense you need. Contact him at (813) 222-2220 for a free initial consultation. Alternatively, you can submit your inquiry through their Call For Help web submission, and they will respond promptly via telephone or email.


When it comes to theft, fraud, and white-collar crimes, the consequences of a conviction can be severe. It’s crucial to have a skilled attorney like W.F. Casey Ebsary Jr. by your side to protect your rights and future. Whether you’re dealing with misdemeanor theft or more serious felony charges, his expertise can make all the difference. Don’t let these charges define your future—take action and call (813) 222-2220 to start building your defense today.

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