What is Theft of Lost or Abandoned Property?
Florida Statute 705.102 gives requires us to:
- Report to a police officer any lost or abandoned property that we find.
- Deliver the property back to the owner if required
What this means is that there is no “Finders Keepers” law in Florida. The law requires you to report any items that you may have found, deliver them to a police officer and either:
- Leave them with the police officer, or;
- Make a claim that you want to keep them and follow their procedures to keep the lost item as your own.
This law applies to any item of “value” the same as would apply to an item at issue on a petit theft or grand theft charge:
- Cell phones
- Any other item of value
Is Theft of Lost or Abandoned Property a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
Theft of Lost or Abandoned Property is charged merely as the method you allegedly used to commit the theft. In Florida, if you are accused of Theft of Lost or Abandoned Property you would be charged under Statute 705.102 in addition to the Theft Statute 812.014. The two statutes work together to describe more specifically the type of conduct you were alleged to have committed. The degree of crime will depend on the “value” of the item allegedly taken:
- Value under $300.00 = Misdemeanor
- Value over $300.00 = Felony
Essentially, the same penalties and defenses for ordinary misdemeanor or felony theft may apply to your case as well with one exception. Section (2) of 705.102 provides a protocol that you and the police can follow to make a lawful claim to the property that you found and turned over to the police. If you properly followed those procedures, and the police gave you the property, you cannot thereafter be charged with theft. Contact Attorney Grant Schwarz to learn more about this process.
First arrest or theft?
If this is your first time ever having been Arrested or given an Notice to Appear for a Florida Theft Crime, ask Attorney Grant Schwarz about potential enrollment in a Pretrial Diversion Program. The State of Florida has put into place several opportunities to have charges dismissed through Court monitored programs. These programs are designed to “punish” illegal conduct and deter future illegal conduct. In exchange for completing a combination of community service hours, education classes and remaining arrest free for a pre-determined period of time, the State Attorney’s Office will agree to dismiss your charges. These programs are only offered to first time offenders, and even then, are dealt with on a case by case basis depending on who the alleged “victim” in the case is.
Contact a theft defense Attorney today
If you are charged with Theft of Lost or Abandoned Property in Broward, Miami or Palm Beach County, it is imperative that you contact the office of Dell & Schaefer to speak with an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. The Office of Dell & Schaefer has been representing criminal defense clients since 1979. Lead Attorney Grant Schwarz is rated as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by National Trial Lawyers, and ready to take your case on and start fighting to defend your rights today. Attorney Grant Schwarz is top rated Superb 10.0 our of 10.0 criminal defense attorney on Avvo.com and is a former prosecutor who knows how the state attorney’s office prosecutes these cases and knows how to properly defend his clients in an ethical and aggressive manner. Understanding that all cases are different, Attorney Grant Schwarz focuses all of his knowledge as a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney to build a defense that works for your particular case.
Aggressive prosecutors and judges need to be met by an equally aggressive and knowledgeable attorney. Grant Schwarz has the knowledge and experience to properly defend your Florida Theft case. Call today for a free consultation. Former Prosecutor and Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Grant Schwarz at the Office of Dell & Schaefer can start building a defense for you today! Visit Grant Schwarz’s Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Avvo Ratings page to learn more.
The earlier you contact a Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer the better. Call Grant Schwarz to start telling your side of the story. Call 954-620-8320 or email at Grant@dnslaw.com.
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