Grand theft can be broken down into degrees, which are levels of the offense based on the value of the item or items taken by the accused. For any crime to constitute grand theft, the value of the item(s) must be $300 or more.
Grand theft in the first degree is the most serious form of grand theft. A first-degree felony, this offense is punishable by up to 30 years in state prison.
In order to be charged with grand theft in the first degree, you must take cash or property valued at $100,000 or more from somebody who did not give you permission to take it.
Grand theft in the first degree can be one charge for one piece of property or single amount of currency worth $100,000 or more. More often than not, grand theft in the first degree may constitute a number of thefts equaling a total of $100,000 or more in loss to the alleged victim.
Grand theft in the first degree may be charged alone or may be charged with other crimes such as organized scheme to defraud, dealing in stolen property, or burglary.
In my experience as a Miami grand theft attorney and Broward grand theft attorney, I have seen grand theft in the first degree cases involving thefts of high-priced items or sophisticated white-collar crime schemes such as bank fraud or credit card fraud.
Aside from prison (which is far more likely for first-degree grand theft than any other degree of grand theft), restitution will be an issue. The state will expect for you to repay the money that you are accused of stealing.
Most thefts involving high values will be investigated thoroughly prior to an arrest being made. If you are contacted by law enforcement regarding your alleged involvement in a high-dollar theft, do not make a statement without first consulting a criminal defense lawyer.
Eric Matheny represents clients charged with all degrees of grand theft offenses in Miami-Dade and Broward.