Justia Lawyer Rating
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Super Lawyers
American Association for Justice
Florida Justice Association
Avvo Badge
Florida Justice Association
Best Law Firms
Best Lawyers
2020 Biker Justice USA
American's Top 100

Burglary & Theft

In the state of Florida there are varying degrees of theft-related crimes, however, a theft conviction of any kind can bring about serious consequences. Theft crimes, commonly referred to as larceny, are crimes that involve the stealing of someone else’s property or belongings. In order for a person to be charged with theft in the state of Florida, it must be demonstrated that the individual knowingly or willfully took another person’s property for their own personal gain or to temporarily or permanently deprive a person of using or benefiting from the property. If you have been caught stealing, the penalties can include jail time, fines, restitution, counseling and probation or parole. In addition to court punishments, long-term hardships can result from a theft crime conviction including loss of employment, social judgment and limited educational and financial opportunities.

Grand Theft

Grand Theft, in general, is the illegal taking of someone else’s property valued at more than $300. This crime is classified as a felony in the third degree and carries consequences of up to five years in prison.

Petty Theft

Petty Theft is the stealing of any property valued at more than $100 and less than $300. Under Florida law this crime is usually charged as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.


Shoplifting is technically referred to as Retail Theft and is committed when an item is taken from a retail establishment illegally. Shoplifting can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, and the severity of the charge depends on the value of the property stolen.

Stolen Property

Dealing in Stolen Property, often referred to as Fencing, involves the buying and/or selling of property that is known to be stolen. This theft crime is classified as a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.


Florida law defines robbery as the illegal taking of someone’s property by use of threat or force. This can include carjacking, bank robbery, home invasion and purse snatching. Robbery is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.


In Florida, there are three different types of burglary crimes – Burglary of a Dwelling, Burglary of a Structure and Burglary of a Conveyance. All burglary charges in Florida are classified as felonies. The felony degree is contingent upon the type of structure broken into, whether anyone was occupying the structure at the time of the supposed burglary and if anyone was hurt while the crime was allegedly committed.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is considered the illegal use of someone’s personal information such as, birth date, social security number, bank account information and credit card numbers to be used for unlawful purposes. Many times this information is used to open bank accounts, apply for new credit cards and even apply for loans. This crime is classified as a felony offense and may include prison time ranging from 2 to 20 years, depending on the extent of the crime.

The Villages Property Crimes Lawyers

A burglary, theft or any other crime involving stolen property can seriously affect your ability to obtain employment. When you disclose to your employer that you have any type of theft charge on your record, regardless of whether or not it is a felony or misdemeanor, your odds of getting the job are slim to none.

If you are facing a criminal charge for theft, shoplifting, or any other property crime, then we urge you to seek legal help right away so that you have the best chances of establishing a strong defense.

Our Villages Property Crime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you with:

  • Car Theft
  • Burglary
  • Home invasion
  • Criminal Trespassing of vehicles and property
  • Criminal property damage
  • Employee theft
  • Grand Theft
  • Petty Theft
  • Property Crimes
  • Retail theft/shoplifting
  • Robbery

All other crimes involving fraud, property and/or theft

We proudly serve clients throughout The Villages – call us now at 352-369-5334 or contact us online to set up a completely free consultation.

Any and all theft-related charges should be handled aggressively by a Theft Defense Attorney. Theft crimes should never be underestimated and The Villages Theft Defense Attorneys can begin building you a strong and thorough defense as soon as you contact us. While no attorney can guarantee the outcome of the specific charges you face, at Whittel & Melton, we can ensure a detailed investigation into your case and an ardent defense. By contacting us early on in the investigative process, we may be able to persuade prosecutors against filing any charges. To schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Whittel & Melton online or call us in The Villages at 352-369-5334.

Client Reviews
"Great staff. Super friendly and professional. Highly recommend." A.H.
"The staff was very professional and attentive. They answered all my questions and walked me through the process step by step. I was very pleased with the outcome of my case." D.W.
"This firm was extremely helpful and courteous to deal with. I did not expect to need their services, but was fortunate to find such a great firm. Thank you for your services." E.S.