Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Explores Every Defense and Fights Vigorously for Your Rights if You are Facing Robbery, Theft, or Shoplifting Charges

More than 30 years of experience on your side in the Tampa Bay area

Allegations related to theft involve many factors and can be complicated to defend. Depending upon the severity of the offense, the penalties can range from diversion programs to prison time. But there are defenses you may be unaware of, and there are ways to work out a plea in your favor. For this reason, it’s important to speak with a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you’ve been arrested. Our criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A. is the strong advocate you need. When you are up against the power of the State prosecuting your case, trust our more than 30 years of experience.

What to know if you’re charged with robbery

Robbery alleges that someone took something belonging to another, and in the course of doing so, used force, violence, assault, or put the person in fear. Robbery is the most serious of the theft crimes and carries the harshest penalties.

A robbery conviction carries harsh penalties

If a firearm or other weapon was used, it’s a felony of the first degree, and the penalty could be a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.

If no weapon was used, it’s a second-degree felony, and you could face up to fifteen years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

If you have been previously convicted of a felony, the penalties could be enhanced.

In all cases, you need an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney to fully investigate your case and create a strong defense strategy to prevent a conviction or minimize penalties. As your criminal defense lawyer, I carefully review the circumstances surrounding the allegations and track down any witnesses that might be helpful to your case. If your case can’t be won at trial, I negotiate the best possible plea for you.

The difference between petit theft and grand theft

Theft is still a serious crime, even if a weapon is not used. You can be charged with theft if you take something unlawfully from another. A theft allegation can be charged as a felony if the value of the property is above $300. Exceptions apply, but generally, the penalties are as follows:

Grand theft in the first degree, where the property is valued over $100,000: imprisonment up to 30 years and a fine up to $10,000.

Grand theft in the second degree, where the property is valued between $20,000 and $100,000: imprisonment up to 15 years and a fine up to $10,000.

Grand theft in the third degree, where the property is valued between $300 and $20,000: five years in prison, five years probation, and/or a fine of $5000.

Petit theft, where the property is valued under $300, is charged as a misdemeanor, and penalties can include up to one year in jail and a $1000 fine.

Theft allegations among friends, family, or business associates

Many theft cases involve disputes among people in relationships squabbling over property. Sometimes a heated argument can lead to false charges and business and personal relationships can quickly turn sour and land someone in jail. False allegations need to be defended by an experienced Tampa criminal attorney who knows how to handle complicated cases. I have the experience to deal with these matters.

What to do if you’re accused of shoplifting

If you’re alleged to have taken something from a store, and the value of that item is under $300, you’re charged with a misdemeanor. In many cases, shoplifting is caught on video, which makes these charges hard to defend. The good news is,  if this is your first offense, you may be able to resolve it without being convicted of a crime. The state has a diversion program for first-time offenders called the Misdemeanor Intervention Program (MIP). The terms of MIP include:

Reporting to an MIP representative

Submitting to psychological, drug, or alcohol testing

Paying program fees

Maintaining employment or school attendance

Attending program classes

If you comply with all the terms, the state attorney’s office nolle prosse (effectively dismiss) your case. You must make a proper application to be accepted to the program, however. Contact our Tampa criminal defense lawyer to help you navigate the process.

Robbery, theft, and shoplifting charges should be handled by an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney. Contact us for a free consultation

Dealing with the consequences of an arrest is stressful. Don’t navigate the complex legal system alone. The South Tampa criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez stands by you throughout your case and is a strong advocate for you against the power of the State. Call our office today at (813) 227-9642 for a free consultation, or contact me online. The sooner you get in touch with me, the sooner I can help.