There are two categories of theft that may be charged in Broward County: grand theft and petit theft. Grand theft can be charged if there is an intentional and unlawful taking of property and the property that has been taken is worth at least $300. The prosecutor must show that the defendant specifically intended to deprive the owner of his rights to the property at issue. There are three degrees of grand theft that may be charged in Broward County with first-degree grand theft being the most serious. Third degree grand theft is the least serious, but it is still a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment or probation and a $5000 fine. Reach out to a Florida criminal defense attorney if you have questions about your grand theft charge.
In a recent appellate decision, the defendant appealed from a judgment and sentences for third degree grand theft and burglary of a structure. He argued that he should have received a judgment of acquittal for the grand theft charge because the government didn’t prove the value of what was stolen.
In order to prove third degree grand theft under section 812.014(2)(c)(1), prosecutors need to prove that the property stolen was worth at $300-$5000. The value can be shown by providing direct testimony about what the fair market value is or by providing proof about the original market cost of the property, how the property was used, the quality and condition of the property and the percentage of depreciation of the property since it was bought. If the market value at the time and place of the grand theft can’t be determined, the prosecution can prove the replacement cost of the property. Value of the property is an element of the grand theft charge, so, like other elements of the charge, value needs to be established beyond a reasonable doubt.