Theft Crimes in Sarasota, FL

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.

Retail and Petty Theft Crimes Lawyer on Attorney Client Privileges

As a Sarasota Criminal Defense Law Firm, we specialize in defending individuals charged with both felony and misdemeanor theft crimes. Theft crimes usually consist of theft of services or theft of goods and can carry a sentence of anywhere from probation to prison time.

Rest assured that over the past ten years reported theft related offenses in the Sarasota and Tampa Bay area have been dropping consistently. If you or a loved one is charged with retail or petty theft contact a experienced criminal defense attorney today in complete confidence and set up a no-charge consultation.

As a Sarasota Theft Lawyer, prospective clients often wonder if they can discuss the facts of their case with a potential lawyer they are looking to hire in complete confidence without worrying about saying something that maybe used against them in the future. The simple answer to this question is yes as long as it does not involve a crime that will happen in the future.

The confidentiality between a client and a lawyer is a privilege that should be taken full advantage off when discussing your case with your lawyer or a potential lawyer so that we can exhaust all options available to defend your case. This privilege is known as the attorney-client privilege.

In summary, the lawyer-client privilege affords the lawyer or the client the right to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, the contents of private communications to his or her lawyer.

The lawyer-client privilege can also be invoked for communications made during an initial consultation even if the client does not retain the lawyers services.

Who can claim this privilege? The client can invoke the privilege and so can the lawyer. The lawyer may only invoke the privilege on behalf of a client not based on the lawyers’ own self interests if a malpractice claim is brought forth by the client for the lawyers’ services rendered at a future date.

A legal guardian of the client may invoke the privilege and so can the personal representative of a deceased client.

However, rules do exist to determine what is considered privileged communications and what is not. First, the person seeking the lawyers’ advice must be a current client or a potential client in search of legal advice. Both the lawyer and the client must understand the purpose of the meeting.

Second, the person who is providing the advice is a licensed with the Florida Bar. An individual who is not licensed or disbarred cannot invoke the privilege. And third, the purpose of the communications was to seek legal representation.

Some exceptions that bar the attorney-client privilege from being invoked are: 1) The supposed privileged communication is relevant to an issue of breach of duty in the lawyer-client relationship. 2) The communications were made in the presence of a non-attorney. 3) Future crimes exception applies when you are seeking advice for a crime not yet committed but you plan on committing in the future. 4) The communication is not privileged due to public release of the supposed privileged communications.

If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with a crime, contact an experienced Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer specializing in theft crimes at Pallegar Law, P.A. today for a free consultation by calling 941-893-5816.

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