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Resisting Recovery of Stolen Property in Miami
Serving Clients throughout Miami & Fort Lauderdale
Theft is in itself a criminal offense, but an alleged offender who prevents stolen property from being recovered can face additional criminal charges. Florida state law allows charges of theft and resisting recovery of stolen property to be tried concurrently (at the same time). Resisting recovery of stolen property is a misdemeanor offense, but it is taken very seriously by prosecutors because the crime is essentially an obstruction of justice. If you were arrested for resisting recovery of stolen property, do not say anything to authorities without first contacting The Hoffman Firm.
Florida Resisting Recovery of Stolen Property Charges
The criminal offense of resisting recovery of stolen property is established under Florida Statute § 787.02(2). Chapter 15.5 of the Florida Standard Jury Instructions asserts that the State must prove the certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to prove the crime of resisting recovery of stolen property.
- The alleged offender was committing or had committed theft of property from the alleged victim
- During or after the theft, the alleged victim made a reasonable effort to recover the property
- The alleged offender resisted the alleged victim’s effort to recover the property
- At the time of the alleged offender's resistance, the alleged victim had probable cause to believe the alleged offender had concealed or removed the property from its place of display or place where the property had been kept
- At the time of the resistance, the alleged victim was a merchant, merchant’s employee, or law enforcement officer
Under Florida Statute § 812.014(1), a theft occurs when someone knowingly and unlawfully obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another and does so with intent to, either temporarily or permanently, deprive the person of his or her right to the property or any benefit from it or to appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it.
Criminal charges for theft crimes can vary depending on the type of property and value of the property stolen. Retail theft (shoplifting) offenses involving property valued at less than $300 are typically misdemeanor petit theft crimes. When the property is valued at $300 or more, the crime is the felony offense of grand theft.
Penalties if You Are Convicted
Resisting recovery of the stolen property itself is a first degree misdemeanor. A conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Because resisting recovery of stolen property charges can be tried concurrently with the underlying theft offenses, the criminal penalties for a theft conviction can often be much more severe.
Depending on the type and value of the property allegedly stolen, a person could receive:
- Less than $100 — second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
- $100 or more, but less than $300 — First degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- $300 or more, but less than $20,000 — Third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
- $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000 — Second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- $100,000 or more — First degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
Certain exceptions do apply to these general provisions. For example, theft of a firearm is a third degree felony even if it is valued at less than $300.
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