Theft Attorney in Sarasota

Theft Attorney in Sarasota, Florida

Florida statutes recognize several different kinds of theft, including automobile theft, extortion, and theft of services. The penalties for theft crimes range from moderate to severe, so it is important to contact an experienced Sarasota theft attorney if you have been charged with a theft crime. At Pallegar Law, P.A., we are premier theft attorney in Sarasota and our objective is to resolve your case as quickly as possible with the best possible outcome.

Automobile Theft or Grant Theft of a Conveyance in Sarasota, Florida

In the state of Florida, automobile theft is considered grand theft. The crime is committed when someone takes or uses someone else’s motor vehicle, intending to deprive them of their property. The term “motor vehicle” includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, or trailers, but not mopeds or bicycles.

Obtaining a motor vehicle by stealing or lying is considered motor vehicle theft by fraud. Failure to return a rental car is another type of automobile theft in Florida. Intentionally keeping a rental car after the rental period ends can be prosecuted as grand theft. Carjacking is the intentional theft of a motor vehicle with the use of force, violence, or threats.

Motor vehicle theft is generally a third-degree felony in the state of Florida. The punishments for this crime are five years in prison, $5,000 in fines, and license suspension for six months. Failure to return a rental car is considered a third-degree felony as well.

Theft of a vehicle valued at more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, or theft of a law enforcement or other emergency vehicle is a second-degree felony. This crime is punishable by 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Theft of a vehicle valued at more than $100,000, or theft that causes damage of more than $1,000 is a first-degree felony. This crime is punishable by 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Carjacking is a first-degree felony as well. If a deadly weapon was used or carried during a carjacking, the crime may be punishable by life in prison. If you or someone you know has been charged with automobile theft, contact an aggressive theft attorney in Sarasota to explore your options.


Florida law defines extortion as the use of threats or intimidation to obtain money, property, goods, or services from someone. In order for the crime to be considered extortion, several elements must be present, including:

  1. A verbal, written, or printed communication that threatens to: accuse someone of a crime, physically injure someone or their property, disgrace or injure someone’s reputation, or expose a secret about someone.
  2. This threat must be made maliciously. (A threat is generally malicious if made intentionally).
  3. The threat intended to extort money or other items of value, or compel someone to act against their will.

The crime of extortion is classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years in prison. If you or someone you know has been charged with extortion or another theft crime, contact Pallegar Law, P.A. today to be connected with theft attorney in Sarasota, Florida.

Theft of Services

In the state of Florida, it is illegal to steal services provided by private, municipal, or county associations or corporations. These services include: gas, electricity, heat, water, oil, sewer service, telephone, or radio service. Theft of services occurs if someone willfully tampers with a meter or other device belonging to a utility service, hindering the proper action of the device. An example of this is if Person A breaks the seal on an electric meter, interfering with the device’s proper action, which is to record and charge for electricity. It is also illegal to make any connection with a main or other service pipe without the consent of the service or company.

The punishments for theft of services crimes fall under those of basic theft crimes. The charge is petit theft if the amount stolen is valued to be under $300, and grand theft if the amount stolen is valued to be more than $300.

If you have been charged with a theft crime, contact an experienced theft attorney in Sarasota today by calling (941) 893-5816 to schedule a free consultation.

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