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Tampa Theft Lawyer

If you have been arrested on suspicion of a theft-related offense, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Escobar, Michaels & Associates can protect your rights before or after an arrest. Even misdemeanor theft-related offenses are considered “crimes of dishonesty” that can follow you for the rest of your life, severely impacting employment opportunities.

Theft has been defined by the Florida Legislature in the following manner:

Section 812.014, Florida Statutes B Theft
A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:
a. Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
b. Appropriate the property to his or her use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.

Petit Theft

Petit theft involves the taking of property valued at less than $300. Petit theft of any amount under $100 is classified as a misdemeanor of the second degree, and any amount between $100 and $300 is classified as a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year of incarceration.


Shoplifting is a theft that occurs in any retail establishment if the accused illegally deprives a merchant or business of any property. The severity of the charge will depend upon the value of the property taken. The charges can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies.

Grand Theft

Grand theft involves any property taken that carries a value of more than $300. The degree of the felony and the maximum punishment vary according to the property taken.

Dealing In Stolen Property

Dealing in stolen property is defined in Section 812.019, Florida Statutes, as follows:

1. Any person who traffics in, or endeavors to traffic in, property that he or she knows or should know was stolen shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree.

2. Any person who initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages or supervises the theft of property and traffics in such stolen property shall be guilty of a felony of the first degree.

Penalties for theft are serious and can range from heavy fines to jail time. But beyond these penalties, the simple existence of the arrest and conviction can have lifelong effects. Your theft charge could force you to rethink career choices, especially those in the financial industry. It could also limit your ability to obtain professional certificates and licenses. Plus, a theft charge is considered a “crime of dishonesty” that comes with a lifetime of social judgment. It may be hard for people to trust you.

At the law firm of Escobar, Michaels & Associates, we can help you with your theft charges. Our attorneys have experience defending those facing criminal theft charges, and we are located in Tampa, Florida, near where you live.

Defending Your Theft Charge

Defending you against theft charges may include early preparation and investigation of the facts, early identification and interviews of witnesses, witness interviews with recorded statements, speaking with the prosecution prior to the case filing, eliminating bail requirements, scheduling a privately held lie detector test, securing employment, preparing all necessary documents, composing all formal motions for case dismissal, determining if counseling is a better option than a jail sentence based on medical or psychological exam results, and exploring all the alternatives to jail sentencing such as house arrest and electronic monitoring.

So before you decide not to hire a lawyer, think again! The attorneys at Escobar, Michaels & Associates are experienced in defending clients against theft charges.

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