Orlando Theft and Fraud Defense Lawyer

Orlando Theft Lawyer

There is no question that theft-related charges in Florida can have serious consequences. In order to defend yourself from a theft or shoplifting conviction, you need a criminal defense lawyer who understands the legal aspects and the personal impact these charges may have on your life. At The Umansky Law Firm, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience defending all types of theft cases and can guide you through this difficult time in your life.

If you have been charged with theft, shoplifting, fraud, forgery or any type of criminal offense in Orlando, our theft attorneys can provide the aggressive defense you need. As former prosecutors on the state and local level, we have experience on both sides of the courtroom and can stay one step ahead of the prosecutor from beginning to end.

At The Umansky Law Firm, we handle all types of theft and fraud cases in the Central Florida area, with an emphasis on shoplifting charges. Contact us today.

Felony & Misdemeanor Theft Charges

Under Florida Statute § 812.014, theft of property, goods, or services is classified as a felony or misdemeanor in Florida and is based on the value of the stolen property. Our criminal defense attorneys represent central Florida clients charged with these theft-related offenses:

Penalties for Theft in Florida

The consequences for a theft or shoplifting conviction may include:

  • Mandatory fines and costs
  • Probation and community service
  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • Possible jail time
  • Loss of college scholarships
  • Public humiliation
  • Career stress or loss of job
  • Loss of professional licenses
  • Theft citations

Crimes of dishonesty can affect your employment in any job. Theft and fraud convictions could result in loss of professional or occupational licenses and loss of college scholarships. Believe it or not, if you are convicted of a theft offense, the judge can and usually will suspend your driver’s license.

We often find that clients accused of theft and white collar crimes are good people who have had lapses in judgment. Perhaps you are a housewife, college student or tourist. We always do our best to resolve these matters quickly and efficiently by using creative strategies. If you are a first-time theft offender, you may be eligible for a diversion or intervention program which can result in your charges getting dropped or dismissed.

The Difference Between Theft, Burglary, and Robbery in Florida

It’s important to make the distinction between robbery, burglary, and theft, as each crime has a different definition and accompanying penalties.

Theft—a broad title that includes categories like larceny, petty theft, grand theft, and shoplifting—involves taking someone else’s property without the owner’s consent and with the intention of permanently depriving them of its use or possession. Theft is defined by taking personal and tangible property. Likewise, the crime of theft accompanies a wrongful act, one that’s specifically against the owner’s interests. Simply taking an object with the owner’s permission is not considered theft.

Robbery is similar but has a few distinct aspects. While theft simply involves stealing a tangible object, a robbery charge punishes the act of taking someone else’s property from the victim’s “immediate presence” through “force or fear.” You cannot commit a robbery unless you take something from someone else. Likewise, robbery is a violent crime that requires an element of force or fear.

Burglary refers to the entering of a building or property with the intent of committing theft or a crime that would be deemed a felony. It’s important to note that you can be convicted of burglary without actually committing a crime within the building, and the crime you intend to commit does not have to be theft or robbery.

Defending Theft and Shoplifting Charges

When charged with a theft crime there are many different defense strategies that an attorney may use. For example, you may never have intended to steal the item in the first place and an experienced attorney will work to make sure the prosecutor cannot prove the offense was committed intentionally. A few common defenses include:

  • Claim of right or ownership of property: An individual who’s accused of stealing property may have a valid defense if they’re able to establish that they had a good faith belief the property they took was theirs or that they had a valid claim to it.
  • Intoxication: Sometimes, defendants who were intoxicated at the time of the theft may be able to use this in their defense. A theft conviction requires that the defendant had the intent to steal the property in question. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it could be possible to persuade the court that you didn’t intend to commit theft.
  • The borrowing defense: One element of proving a theft crime is the intent to permanently deprive. Though the borrowing defense isn’t a complete defense to theft, you can minimize the penalties associated with the charge if you can show that you had an intention to return the property.
  • Lack of presence: Theft charges can be defended with an alibi defense. The prosecutor must prove that the defendant was actually there when the theft was committed.

An expert Orlando defense attorney will help you understand and sort out the appropriate defenses to execute based on the circumstances of your case.

Example of a Recent Case We Defended

We represented a client after she was caught shoplifting from a retail store in Orlando. Our client had never been in trouble before, but the prosecutor was trying to charge her with scheme to defraud, which is a felony in Florida. Instead, our attorneys were able to convince the prosecutor to charge her only with a misdemeanor, and instead of jail or probation, we persuaded the prosecutor to put our client in a first offender program. Now all our client must do is complete the program and the state of Florida will drop the charges against her.

Contact Our Orlando Theft Attorneys Now For Help

If you have been charged with felony or misdemeanor theft, shoplifting or burglary, our theft lawyers can represent your interests in a Florida court of law. Get in touch with our firm anytime, day or night, for a free consultation. Contact us online or call The Umansky Law Firm at 407-228-3838 now to schedule your free case review. Attorneys William Umansky and Zahra Umansky with The Umansky Law Firm are former prosecutors and active members of the Central Florida  Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. They can use their criminal defense expertise to help lessen or even dismiss criminal theft charges.

We Will Review Your Theft Case for Free

At The Umansky Law Firm, we do more than a free consultation! We ask you to call or come in for a case review. Our lawyers will meet with you, review your documents and explain what defenses you may have and answer whatever questions you ask. After, we will use our special strategy planning tool, where we begin to start planning a resolution to your case. You will also receive our free guide on how to navigate through the court system, which can be very confusing for most folks.