First Offense Felony Theft Lawyer in Florida

A theft crime can be committed in many different ways. Likewise, the penalties for a conviction on a theft crime will vary. The more serious the theft and the higher the value of the item taken, the more likely the penalties will be harsher. When charged with a theft crime, many people want to take the first plea deal offered. This is risky because oftentimes, they could fight the charge or negotiate a better plea deal. Speaking with a theft crimes defense lawyer in Florida will help you understand theft crimes and their consequences.

At Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, our theft crimes defense attorney handles all types of theft crimes cases. We work to make sure your constitutional rights are upheld and that you get the best defense you deserve. Contact us today at 813-320-7500 or to schedule a Free and to make sure your rights are protected.

Common First Offense Felony Theft Crimes in Florida

A theft crime is a general term used to describe offenses that involve the taking of another person's property without their consent and with the intention to permanently deprive them of it. 

Theft offenses are also often referred to as property offenses. Common theft crimes include:

  • Shoplifting - taking goods away from a shop without paying
  • Larceny - taking someone's personal property
  • Auto theft - theft of a motor vehicle
  • Robbery - where the property is taken through the actual or threatened use of physical force

Depending on the seriousness of the allegations, theft crimes can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Aggravating circumstances include the type of property taken, the value of the property, and the offender's previous convictions for similar offenses.

Each jurisdiction has its own specific theft statutes that define the specific elements of any given theft crime. It is always important to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa to understand the elements and consequences of the exact theft charge laid against you.

Consequences of a Theft Conviction in Florida

The sentences for theft convictions vary depending on the jurisdiction, the circumstances of the case, and the seriousness of the offense.

Possible penalties include:

  • Fines
  • Restitution to compensate for the loss of property
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Parole
  • Imprisonment
  • Education classes

A conviction for a theft offense can also have long-lasting impacts on an offender's life beyond their sentence, especially in terms of finding employment. For example, a potential employer who runs a background check may view someone with a theft conviction as dishonest and be reluctant to hire them. 

Common First Offense Felony Theft  Defenses to Florida Theft Charges

In all criminal cases, it is the prosecutor's responsibility to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. This standard of proof is a high bar. A good criminal defense lawyer will work hard to prove innocence or create doubt. Sometimes, this can be achieved by the use of specific defenses.

The potential defenses available to a defendant facing a theft charge depend on the specific circumstances of their case. Some common defenses include the belief in ownership, return of property, entrapment, intoxication, and coercion. 

The Belief in Ownership or Claim of Right

Where a defendant believes in good faith (or honestly believes) that the property they took was theirs or they had a valid claim to it, they may be able to defend against a theft charge. When this defense is raised, the defendant usually needs to provide some evidence to support it. 

Return of Property

If a defendant intended to return the property when they initially took it, they might also be able to defend against the charge. It is not a defense, however, if you return the property later to avoid a theft charge or conviction. That said, if convicted, returning the property may be a factor the court takes into account when determining a sentence. 


Law enforcement authorities can run a sting operation to try and catch suspected criminals. However, they cannot induce a defendant to commit an offense they otherwise would not have committed. If a defendant takes any property due to being induced by law enforcement, they may be able to argue the defense of entrapment. 


To prove a theft offense, the prosecution must establish that the defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property. If the defendant was intoxicated when they took the property, they may be able to argue they were incapable of forming the required intent. 


A defendant may be able to challenge a theft charge if another person forced them to take the property. For example, a person may use threats or blackmail to coerce you to take the property of another person. To argue duress, a defendant must show they committed the act as a result of an immediate and inescapable threat of bodily harm or death.

Three Critical Reasons to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Tampa

You can successfully defend against theft crimes. But you cannot do it on your own. The laws are complex, the stakes are high, and you need someone with the expertise to develop a viable defense strategy.

With that said, here a five good reasons why you should hire our criminal defense lawyer.

  1. We provide the insight you cannot find online. We know everyone is googling answers for everything, and that includes criminal charges and defenses. Though you can find information on it, you cannot find information on how to best apply a defense in your unique case. There are critical nuances that can impact your case. We provide a real-life application to get results.
  2. We leverage the power of the prosecutor. The prosecutor determines whether a charge will be filed, whether a plea deal will be offered, and what will be in a plea deal. In cases where appropriate, we use the power of the prosecutor to negotiate better terms on your behalf. We can try to negotiate a deal that means reduced charges or lesser sentences, and this is especially important in theft crimes because the range of potential charges and punishment is wide.
  3. We are more than your criminal defense lawyer. As your lawyer, we will help you understand what's at stake, deal with all the deadlines and negotiations, and help you cope with your feelings throughout it all. You may feel fear, embarrassment, and anxiety. We know–we have seen it time and time again. But through our support and representation, we can alleviate some of the emotional issues may experience.

If you have been accused of committing a theft crime, you should speak to a theft defense attorney at Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC immediately. 

Contact a First Offense Felony Theft Crimes Defense Attorney in Tampa Today

Our criminal defense lawyer in Tampa will review your case and explain your options, including any legal defenses available to you. We can also help you prepare a strong defense and ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Call 813-320-7500 or submit an online form today, and we will schedule a Free to discuss your case.

A theft offence can be performed in many different ways. In a similar vein, the punishments that are imposed following a conviction for a theft crime will differ. When the theft is more severe, and when the value of the object is higher, the likelihood that the sanctions will be more severe increases. When accused of committing a larceny crime, many people are eager to accept the first plea deal presented to them. This is problematic since they usually might fight the charge or negotiate a better plea offer. You will better understand theft crimes and their ramifications by consulting with a theft crimes defense attorney in Florida.

Our firm, Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, has a defense attorney for theft offenses experienced in handling all types of criminal theft cases. We will do all our power to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected and that you receive the strong defense you are entitled to. Contact us immediately at 813-320-7500 or visit our website to set up a free consultation and ensure that your legal rights are upheld.

Stealing is one of the most common crimes in Florida.

Theft crimes include taking another person's property without that person's consent and permanently depriving them of it. The word "theft crime" is a general term to characterize these offenses.

Property offenses are most commonly understood to refer to theft offenses as well. Common stealing offenses include:

  • Theft from stores, often known as shoplifting, is stealing merchandise without paying for it.
  • Larceny – taking someone's personal property
  • Auto theft - theft of a motor vehicle
  • Robbery is the unlawful taking of another person's property via actual or threatened physical force.

Theft offenses can range from being classified as a misdemeanor to a major felony, depending on the nature of the alleged theft. A person's prior convictions for crimes of similar nature are examples of aggravating circumstances. Other aggravating circumstances include the nature of the stolen property, its value, and the length of time since their most recent conviction.

Each jurisdiction has specialized theft legislation that outlines the exact elements of each stolen crime. It is always crucial to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa to grasp the specifics of the theft accusation that has been leveled against you and the potential repercussions of a conviction.

What Happens to Your Life After a Theft Conviction in Florida

The severity of the crime, the local laws, and the circumstances surrounding the theft all play a role in determining the sentence that must be served for a theft conviction.

Potential penalties include:

  • Fines
  • Restitution as payment for the damage done to or loss of property
  • Probation
  • Helping out the community
  • Parole\Imprisonment
  • Instructional seminars

A conviction for a theft charge can have long-lasting effects on an offender's life beyond the confines of their sentence, particularly regarding their ability to find employment. A prospective employer conducting a background check might, for instance, consider an individual with a theft record dishonest and hesitant to hire them because of this perception.

Typical Rebuttals to the Allegations of Stealing in Florida

In every criminal case, the prosecution must demonstrate without a shadow of a doubt that the defendant is guilty of the offense. This is a very stringent burden of proof to meet. A competent attorney for criminal defense will exert significant effort either to establish their client's innocence or to sow seeds of doubt. There are situations when the application of various defenses can accomplish this.

The potential defenses that a person being charged with theft have at their disposal depending on the circumstances surrounding their case. A belief in ownership, the return of property, entrapment, intoxication, or being forced to do something are all examples of popular legal defenses.

The notion of ownership or the assertion of a legal right - First Offense Felony Theft 

If the defendant thinks in good faith (or honestly believes) that the property they took was theirs or had a genuine claim to it, they may be able to defend themselves against a theft charge. This is also known as the honest belief defense. When the defendant asserts this defense, they will typically be required to present some evidence to back up their claims.

A Restitution of the Property

It is possible that a defendant could have a defense against the allegation of theft if they intended to restore the property when they first took it. But, if you return the goods later to avoid being charged with or convicted of theft, this does not provide a defense. Having said that, if you are found guilty, the court may consider the fact that you have returned the item when deciding how long of a sentence to impose.


Law enforcement officials can launch an undercover operation to try and catch those suspected of committing crimes. On the other hand, they are not allowed to coerce a defendant into committing a crime they usually would not have committed. Suppose a defendant takes any property due to being enticed by law enforcement. In that case, they could argue that they are entitled to immunity under the entrapment defense.


The prosecution must establish that the defendant meant to permanently deprive the property owner to prove that the defendant committed the theft. If the defendant was under the influence of alcohol when they stole the goods, they might be able to argue that they could not create the necessary intent at the time of the theft.


If the goods were taken from the defendant against their will by another person, the defendant might have a defense against the theft charge. For instance, a person may threaten you with dire consequences or resort to blackmail to force you to steal another individual's property. A defendant who wishes to assert that they acted under duress must demonstrate that they performed the crime directly due to an urgent and unavoidable threat of physical harm or death.

 Important Factors Make Hiring a First Offense Felony Theft Defense Lawyer in Tampa a Need

You can successfully defend yourself against theft charges. Yet, you need help to complete this task. Because the laws are convoluted and the stakes are significant, you need the assistance of someone knowledgeable to devise a defense strategy that has a chance of success.

Below are compelling arguments for retaining our services as your criminal defense attorney.

We deliver insight that cannot be found anywhere else, including online. We are aware that everyone is searching the internet for solutions to various questions, including questions about criminal accusations and defenses. You may obtain knowledge about it, but you won't be able to get information about how to use a defense effectively in your specific situation. There are essential variables at play here that could affect your case. We offer a practical application that can be used to achieve goals.

We use the power of the prosecutor to our advantage. It is up to the prosecutor to decide whether or not charges will be brought, whether or not a plea bargain will be offered, and what terms will be included in the bargain. We will use the prosecutor's authority where it is appropriate to negotiate better conditions on your behalf. We can negotiate a compromise that will result in reduced charges or reduced sentences, and this is especially significant in cases involving larceny offenses due to the wide variety of potential accusations and punishments.

We are more than just a lawyer who will defend you in court. As your legal representation, we will assist you in comprehending what is at risk, managing all of the deadlines and discussions, and coming to terms with how you feel throughout the process. You might experience feelings of anxiety, fear, and embarrassment. We are aware of it because we have witnessed it on numerous occasions. Nonetheless, we can lessen some of the emotional concerns you may feel through our support and representation.

If you have been accused of committing a theft-related felony, contact a theft defense attorney at Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, as soon as possible.

Get in Touch With a Tampa Defense Attorney Specializing in Stealing Charges Today

Your case will be reviewed by our criminal defense attorney in Tampa, who will then explain your choices, including any legal defenses that may be available. In addition, we will work with you to construct an effective defense and defend your rights throughout the legal procedure. Call us at 813-320-7500 or fill out the online form, and we will contact you at no cost to explore your situation.

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