Park crime. Pickpocket thief stealing wallet from woman handbag, empty spaceCriminal charges always feel daunting. Whether you  – or someone you know – were arrested for (or charged with) theft, the prospect of jail, finding a lawyer, and what this means for your future can certainly be overwhelming. Perhaps you haven’t even been arrested yet, but maybe the police are calling your phone or you’ve discovered you’re being investigated for a theft crime.

We know facing theft charges can be overwhelming, but the skilled South Florida theft lawyers at Rossen Law Firm are here to lend a helping (and expert) hand. Contact us today to discuss your unique case with a dedicated criminal defense attorney serving Fort Lauderdale.

What is a Theft Crime in South Florida?

A person commits theft if he or she knowingly steals or even attempts to steal something that doesn’t belong to them. 

The legal definition of theft is when someone:

“Knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:

  1. Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
  2. Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property,” according to Florida Statute 812.014. 

As an attorney can further explain, the tricky part about theft charges in Fort Lauderdale is the severity of the charge is not dependent on your actions. The severity of theft criminal charges is dependent on the value of the stolen items. 


Petit Theft

Petit theft is when someone knowingly steals or attempts to steal, something that doesn’t belong to them that is valued up to $750.

Grand theft

Grand theft is when someone knowingly steals or attempts to steal, something that doesn’t belong to them that is valued more than $750.

Employee Theft

Employee Theft is very similar to petit theft and grand theft. They all are defined as unlawfully taking money or property from an employer with the intent to permanently deprive them of their money or property.

Dealing in Stolen Property

Dealing in stolen property is defined as someone who traffics in, or attempts to traffic in, property that they know or should know was stolen.

Failure to Return Leased Property

Failure to Return Leased or Rented Property occurs where a defendant knowingly refuses to return the personal property back to the owner/victim at the conclusion of a lease or rental period.

Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud occurs when a person makes false insurance claims in order to obtain compensation or benefits to which they do not qualify for.

Giving False Information to a Pawnbroker

Giving False Information or Verification occurs where a defendant knowingly and falsely verifies that he or she is the rightful owner of the property in order to pawn the property and receive money in exchange.

Possession of an Anti-Shoplifting Device

Possession of an anti-shoplifting device is a third-degree felony in South Florida, making it vital to have a seasoned theft attorney fighting by your side. An anti-shoplifting or inventory control device is a device intended for the purpose of removing something from an item in an establishment that sells goods with specially marked or tagged merchandise.


Theft Crime consequences are serious and have the ability to threaten someone’s livelihood and reputation. 

Because there are a variety of theft crimes someone can commit, there are also a variety of different consequences. 

Petit theft for example, is the lowest level charge in South Florida. Petit theft is a first-degree misdemeanor when the property stolen is worth less than $100. If the property stolen is valued between $100 and $750, the charge is a second-degree misdemeanor.  A second-degree misdemeanor carries consequences of up to 60 days in jail, and fines of up to $500. 

First-degree grand theft, on the other hand, is a first-degree felony. First-degree felony charges carry potential consequences of up to 30 years in prison, and fines totaling up to $10,000, according to Florida law.  


If you, or someone you know, is facing a theft charge in Fort Lauderdale – you’ve come to the right place. At Rossen Law Firm, our expert South Florida theft lawyers have extensive experience providing a compassionate and expert defense to charges of this nature.

In our experience, we’ve found that more often than not, theft (especially petit theft), is a cry for help – not the act of a hardened criminal. If you’re facing theft charges, give our office a call. We’ll listen to your story and discuss the best course of action for you. One mistake shouldn’t have the power to ruin your life, and we’re here to help ensure that’s true for you. 

Free Theft Criminal Defense Strategy Session for a Fort Lauderdale Theft Crime 

We’ve successfully handled a variety of theft charges in South Florida and cases and are confident we can give you the personalized and aggressive defense you deserve to protect your rights. 

In fact, we even offer a FREE strategy session so you know how we’ll plan to get the best possible result for you and your case.  

See all locations Rossen Law Firm practices Theft Defense.


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