A long list of property crimes were recently reported in Clay County and compiled by Florida Times-Union staff writers. They range from an attempted robbery to thefts and burglaries.
Theft charges in Jacksonville can range from the minor — walking into a convenience store with no money and walking out with a pack of gum — to the major — holding up an innocent person at gunpoint and getting away with their purse or wallet.
As the severity of the circumstances can vary, so too can the possible penalties. A person charged with these types of crimes can face a year in county jail if convicted of a misdemeanor, while someone who faces a felony charge for robbery, for instance, can face up to 30 years in prison if a weapon is used during the crime. Hiring a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney who has seen many of these cases over the years is important and is one of the first steps in preparing to defend yourself from these allegations.
According to the article, people reported many crimes in a week’s time span in Clay County. An unsecured lawn mower was stolen, as was a generator and air conditioning unit. People say a wallet and cell phone were left unattended and they, too, were taken. A golf cart, bicycle and gasoline also made the list.
Among the more serious charges reported was when a person said they were approached by a man they don’t know in front of their home in Middleburg when the man put the victim in a bear hug and allegedly asked for money. When the person said they had no money, the suspect ran away.
Garage doors from a house under construction, a television from an apartment and music equipment from a house were all reported stolen after burglars entered their respective homes.
Under Florida law, a person can be convicted of burglary if the state can prove the suspects entered into a building and took property that doesn’t belong to them. Burglary is different than robbery, which is taking property directly from a person, sometimes by force. Theft is typically defined as stealing something with the purpose of depriving the person of those goods.
The definitions of the crimes vary, and so do the penalties. Theft is typically charged as a misdemeanor, but can be charged even as a first-degree felony, which is punished by up to 30 years in prison, if convicted. A person could be charged with first-degree theft if they steal more than $100,000 from another.
Under Florida law, burglary and robbery are both charged as felonies and the degree depends on the circumstances. For instance, if a person uses a weapon during a robbery, the potential penalty will increase. If a person is assaulted or battered during a burglary, the suspect can face a first-degree felony as well.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
More Blog Entries:
Jacksonville Beach Pawn Shop Site for Alleged Sale of Stolen Goods: July 24, 2011
Former Jacksonville Postal Worker Sentenced to Probation for Theft: July 13, 2011
Crime Watch: Latest property crimes reported in Clay County, by Beth Reese Cravey, The Florida Times-Union