Grand Theft is defined under the Florida Statute 812.014 as taking someone else’s property valued at $750 or more. Grand theft charges are felony offenses. To mitigate the potential long-term consequences of a felony conviction, you should consider hiring an experienced Orlando grand theft attorney from Moses and Rooth.

Our lawyers have extensive courtroom experience. For nearly three decades, our lawyers have fought for justice in Orlando and other areas in central Florida. They could put you in the best possible position to avoid the pitfalls of a felony conviction.

Defining Theft Under Florida Statutes

Florida defines theft as someone who knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:

  • Deprive another person of a right to or a benefit from the property; or
  • Appropriate the property to their own use or the use of any other person not entitled to the property.

Grand theft charges only apply when the value of the property at issue exceeds $750. When the value is less than $750, the applicable charge is petit theft.

Grand theft can be classified by three different degrees based on the stolen property’s value.

A grand theft charge can be a third-degree, a second-degree or even a first-degree felony.

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veronica heissner
veronica heissner
Paul Ghezzi took his time and listened to my issue AND did exactly what he said he would do. If you want someone who will listen and follow their word, then call Paul.
Jordan Cristwell
Jordan Cristwell
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Emmanuel Rogers
Emmanuel Rogers
This law firm went on a 2 year roller coaster ride with me. They kept me from going to prison. They got me into rehab. I can say for certain that I am sober and intend to stay this way. Thanks to Mr. Jay Rooth , THE ORLANDO BRIDGE, My family and friends and above all myself. I can finally close this chapter in my life. Thanks again Moses and Rooth.
robert carlin
robert carlin
A wealth of legal expertise coupled with a make it happen professional attitude is exactly what you get when you hire Attorney Paul E. Ghezzi, Esq., of Moses & Rooth, to represent you. From my initial consultation Paul exuded an air of overwhelming confidence in his ability to get the Court to grant my motion for early termination of probation. Mom always said to me that God gave us all 2 ears to listen twice as much as we talk. Paul did just that, he listened intently to my intricate predicament which is a major attribute in the legal world. Having said that, when he spoke, I hung on every word and the motion was granted. Thank you Paul. Ladies and gentlemen, to regain your peace of mind in tough legal times, get yourself a magnificently savvy go-getter type of attorney.......Call Moses & Rooth and ask for Attorney Paul Ghezzi. With Paul, failure is NOT an option!
Byrd Risner
Byrd Risner
Paul Ghezzi, ESQ. represented me for a felony criminal defense case. He was able to get my 2 felonies dismissed & arrived at a plea for a misdemeanor with minimal fine and time served. He spent the time searching through my discovery and watching body cam footage to find my defense. An iron clad one at that That left the prosecution confused on why I was getting the deal of a lifetime. His knowledge on case law, his dedication of time to his clients and his empathy are unmatched. He is even trying to help me find an attorney to help me with a case I have in another state. Above & beyond is an understatement and the retainer was more than reasonable and well worth it. As somebody whose criminal history is as tall as me I have never had a lawyer fight for me, until now. If you find yourself in the position to need a power house attorney, look no further. You found him. to put this into full view for you, a case I could have done 5 years in prison for and have been sentenced to that for similar cases in the past, he was able to get me time served (for two days I spent in county awaiting bond), less than a $1,000 fine and NO PROBATION. When I have priors. I’m going to say it again, LOOK NO FURTHER.
Ashley Renee
Ashley Renee
I have hired attorneys in the past and I have to share that I’ve never had an attorney like Paul Ghezzi from Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law. Paul kept in contact with us through the entire process. Paul was always available for any questions we had and was always willing to go the extra mile. From my family to you Paul you are more than just attorney your now my friend. You are so much appreciated. Thank you Paul for being you! I strongly recommend this law firm if any of these attorneys give you 50% of what Paul has done for my family you will be in great shape!
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Vicente Vigil
I had an excellent experience with Moses and Rooth. From beginning to end I felt I had trusted the right firm. Jay Rooth represented me in my case and having an attorney who was pleasant, professional, and very experienced was everything. During a stressful time, I feel much of the stress was reduced due to the fact I made a good decision going with Jay. What is also important is everyone at this office is fantastic and helpful throughout the process. Many thanks !
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If I could tell Mr. Jay Rooth a million times how much I thank and appreciate him I would ! After being told by three attorneys that my case was complicated and couldn’t be turned around, I almost gave up but my last attempt to fix my situation was the best decision I could have made ! Mr. Rooth worked so efficiently to help me. His knowledge, confidence, and reassurance is truly unbelievable. He updated me, communicated with me and did not miss a beat ! I will forever be grateful, I’ve been bragging on him ever since our first conversation! 10/10 HIGHLY RECOMMEND !!!!!!
Nastashia Kirkwood
Nastashia Kirkwood
Andrew is an amazing attorney. He really cares about his clients and goes above and beyond. Finding him was a blessing and my family and I will be forever be grateful to him.
Jessy C.
Jessy C.

Third-Degree Felony Grand Theft

Orlando grand theft defense attorneys

A theft is considered a felony of the third degree if:

  • The property is valued at between $100 and $300 and the item was stolen from or around someone’s home (Florida Statute 812.014(2)(d))
  • Or the property is valued at $750 but less than $20,000

Florida considers grand theft a third-degree felony if the stolen property includes the following:

  • Wills
  • Items valued at between $100 and $750 that were stolen from a dwelling or enclosed curtilage of a dwelling
  • Firearms
  • Motor vehicles
  • A commercially farmed animal
  • A fire extinguisher
  • More than 2000 pieces of citrus fruit
  • Property from a construction site
  • A stop sign
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Or a controlled substance

It’s also important to understand that you can be charged with a felony when committing a petit theft.  A person who commits petit theft and who has previously been convicted two or more times of any theft commits a felony of the third degree.  Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five (5) years in state prison, five (5) years probation, and a $5,000 fine.

Second-Degree Felony Grand Theft

Second-degree felony grand theft is charged when the value of the stolen property is between $20,000 and $100,000.

It can also be charged when the stolen property includes:

  • Commercial cargo valued less than $50,000
  • Medical equipment valued at $300 or more
  • Law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more
  • Emergency medical equipment valued at $300 or more that was taken from a facility licensed under Chapter 395 or from an aircraft or vehicle permitted under Chapter 401.

A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in state prison, 15 years of supervised probation, and a $10,000 fine.

First-Degree Felony Grand Theft

If the property is valued at $100,000 or more, it is considered a first-degree felony. Additionally, first-degree felony grand theft can be charged when:

  • The theft is of a semitrailer operated by a law enforcement officer
  • The theft is of commercial cargo valued at $50,000 or more
  • The defendant commits a grand theft, uses a motor vehicle and causes more than $1,000 in property damage

First-degree felonies can result in 30-year state prison, 30 years of probation, and $10,000 fine.

Orlando Grand Theft Lawyer Explains the Collateral Consequences of a Grand Theft

In addition to the penalties discussed above, every judgment of guilty of a theft for property shall result in the suspension of the convicted person’s driver license. The Court is required to inform the Department of Motor Vehicles of the theft related conviction and for the drivers license to be suspended. The Driver’s license penalties include:

  1.  The first suspension of a driver license for theft shall be for a period of up to 6 months.
  2.  The second or subsequent suspension of a driver license for theft shall be for a period of 1 year.

Felony convictions also carry other potentially life-altering consequences. A felony conviction for theft could jeopardize your immigration status. Moreover, people convicted of a crime involving theft may have trouble locating suitable employment, pursuing higher education, getting approved for a mortgage, or renting a nicer home.

Felony convictions also stay on your record. A grand theft conviction will surface every time someone performs a background check on you, even if several years have passed since your case ended.

What Should I Do If I Am Accused of Grand Theft in Florida?

The first thing you should do after being accused of a grand theft or grand theft auto crime in Florida is to contact a criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer can determine whether the district attorney filed official charges against you or if the police are still investigating the alleged crime. They can discuss the accusations with the prosecuting attorney and negotiate for a favorable plea agreement if necessary. Hiring an Orlando grand theft attorney is not an admission of guilt; it is a maneuver to protect your rights and level the playing field so you get a fair trial.


Before determining the defenses in the case, the Attorneys at Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law will examine all the witness statements, police reports, Law enforcement body camera, surveillance video, pictures, and listen to 911 calls.  Furthermore, we speak with all potential witnesses who may be able to assist in our defense of your case. Some of the defenses that we will consider for a Theft offense will include:

  1.  Property value – The government must prove that the property had value and that the value was over the threshold required in the level of Grand theft.
  2.  Co-ownership – Someone who is the co-owner of property such as marital property may not be convicted of theft.
  3.  Abandonment – Someone who abandons and voluntarily relinquishes their attempt to take property of another

Our Orlando grand theft crime lawyers at Moses & Rooth can review the details of your case and determine whether a legal defense applies.

Identification Defense

The government must prove you were the person who committed the crime alleged beyond a reasonable doubt. How might the prosecution do that? Depending on the evidence, they might try to show that you had the motive, means, and opportunity to steal the items. Perhaps the police conducted identification procedures that violated your due process rights? But maybe witnesses misidentified you, or maybe you have an alibi. These are critical issues to explore. A skilled Orlando grand theft attorney is in the best position to determine what defenses will work for you.

Proving the Value of Stolen Property

Valuation of property is an important issue in theft cases. The prosecutor bears the burden to prove every element of the crime of theft beyond a reasonable doubt—and the value of the property is an essential element of the crime. Therefore, the State must prove that the property stolen exceeds $750 to prove a grand theft charge against you. The State must prove that the value of the property stolen exceeded $20,000 to convict you of second-degree grand theft, and the value must exceed $100,000 for first-degree grand theft.

Of course, if the item stolen was cash, then the value is self-evident. But for all other property, the prosecutor will try to prove the value by introducing evidence of the following:

  • The purchase price,
  • The manner in which the owner used the item,
  • The depreciation in value over the time owned, and
  • The condition of the item when stolen.

For example, assume the prosecutor accuses you of stealing tires off of a car. Not only does the prosecutor have to prove that you were the person who took the items, but they also must prove that you wanted to permanently deprive the owner of the value and benefit of the property. The condition of the tires is important in this scenario. They wouldn’t be worth much if they were bald or had dry rot. You would face a petit theft charge if the prosecutor could not prove that the value of the tires when stolen exceeded $750.

Skillfully arguing to a jury that the government failed to prove the property valuation beyond a reasonable doubt could minimize your exposure to severe penalties.

How Long Does the Prosecutor Have to Bring Grand Theft Charges?

The police and prosecutor cannot wait forever to bring grand theft charges against you. According to Florida statutes, they only have three or four years to file charges. There are exceptions to this rule, and we can explore a defense based on a violation of the statute of limitations if it applies to your case.

Talk to an Orlando Grand Theft Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with grand theft, contact an Orlando grand theft attorney at Moses & Rooth immediately so that we can begin protecting your rights and preparing your defense. No matter what the charge — from petty theft or shoplifting to grand theft auto — you need a lawyer who can limit the consequences of your arrest. That could mean a dismissal of charges, a plea to lesser charges, or a not guilty verdict. An effective lawyer can also work for an alternative sentence or a shorter sentence.

Grand Theft Resources

Florida Statute 812.014 – Grand theft Statute

Florida Statute 812.014(5)(b) – Driver’s License Suspension for Theft Conviction

Florida Statute 772.11(1) – Civil Liability for Theft Offense

Course for Theft Online – Virtual Anti-Theft Class / Impulse Control Class

In Person Class at the Florida Safety Council

Florida Statute 777.04(5) – Abandonment

Frequently Asked Questions

Our team provided answers to frequently asked questions about grand theft definitions and grand theft auto charge penalties.

What Defines a Grand Theft Crime?

The critical factor that separates grand theft from petit theft is the value of the stolen property. If someone steals property worth more than $750, they commit grand theft.

What Is the Difference Between First Degree and Second Degree Grand Theft?

If the stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more, it is first-degree grand theft. If the stolen property is valued at more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, it is second-degree grand theft.

How Serious Are Grand Theft Auto Charges?

Stealing an automobile is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. If someone uses a vehicle as an instrumentality in the course of committing the grand theft and damages the real or personal property of another person, they could face a first-degree felony.