Miami Auto Theft Lawyer
Also Representing Defendants in Fort Lauderdale
Theft of any motor vehicle is a felony offense in Florida. More commonly known as “grand theft auto,” motor vehicle theft crimes are often investigated by specialized units in local law enforcement agencies. The value of a motor vehicle can impact the degree of grand theft, but the use of force, violence, assault, or fear can result in potential carjacking charges. Even people who take the automobiles of other parties “joyriding” can be arrested for grand theft auto, regardless of whether the alleged offender returns the vehicle or the condition of the vehicle when it is returned.
If you were arrested in South Florida for alleged grand theft of a motor vehicle, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. Evan Hoffman is an experienced auto theft attorney in Miami who can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Plan your defense strategy today by calling (305) 928-1669 if you are Miami. Call 954-737-3004 if you are in Broward County.
Grand Theft Auto Charges in Florida
An alleged offender can be charged with the second degree felony offense of grand theft of the second degree if the property stolen is any of the following:
- Valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000
- Cargo valued at less than $50,000 that has entered the stream of interstate or intrastate commerce from the shipper’s loading platform to the consignee’s receiving dock
- Emergency medical equipment, valued at $300 or more, that is taken from a facility licensed under Chapter 395 of the Florida Statutes or from an aircraft or vehicle permitted under chapter 401 of the Florida Statutes
- Law enforcement equipment, valued at $300 or more, that is taken from an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Florida Statute § 316.003
Grand theft auto is the first degree felony offense of grand theft of the first degree if:
- The property stolen is valued at $100,000 or more or is a semitrailer that was deployed by a law enforcement officer
- The property stolen is cargo valued at $50,000 or more that has entered the stream of interstate or intrastate commerce from the shipper’s loading platform to the consignee’s receiving dock
- The alleged offender commits any grand theft and in the course of committing the alleged offense the alleged offender uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely as a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense and thereby damages the real property of another, or in the course of committing the alleged offense the alleged offender causes damage to the real or personal property of another in excess of $1,000
An alleged offender commits the first degree felony offense of carjacking under Florida Statute § 812.133 if he or she uses force, violence, assault, or putting in fear to take a motor vehicle from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle. If an alleged offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon in the course of committing an alleged carjacking, a conviction is punishable by a possible sentence of life in prison.
People who fail to return rental cars can also face criminal charges. While failure to return hired or leased personal property is typically a second degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 812.155(3), the crime becomes a third degree felony when the value of the personal property or equipment is of a value of $300 or more (as is almost always the case with rented motor vehicles).
Auto Theft Penalties in Miami
The possible consequences a person can face if convicted of grand theft auto depend on the specific degree of grand theft that person was charged with.
The statutory maximum sentences allowable for felony offenses are as follows:
- Third degree felony — Up to 5 years in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000
- Second degree felony — Up to 15 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
- First degree felony — Up to 30 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
It is important to keep in mind that Florida Statute § 812.014(2)(b) states that grand theft auto committed after the declaration of emergency has been made, and the perpetration of the theft is facilitated by conditions arising from the emergency, the offense is a first degree felony.
The Hoffman Firm is here for you. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 305-928-1669 if your case is out of Miami, 954-737-3004 if your case is out of Broward County, or contacting us online.
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