Tampa Theft Attorney

Have you been accused of a theft offense in Tampa? Call a theft law firm now, whether you’ve been charged or under investigation. With the help of an experienced attorney, you may avoid charges or reduce the impact on your life. Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A. will assess your options and fight for the best possible outcome. Call (813) 258-4800 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation.

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Why Hire Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A.

The penalties for theft are serious. You’re looking at fines and court costs, incarceration, probation, and worst of all, a permanent criminal record. A theft offense makes you appear untrustworthy. Even if you complete your sentence without an issue, people hold this mistake against you for a long time, making it hard to go to school, get loans, keep a job, or rent a home.

Brett Metcalf wants to help you overcome these charges. He’s an experienced theft lawyer who started in the State Attorney’s Office. As a former prosecutor, he knows how prosecutors think and build cases. He knows what to expect, which gives him an edge in the courtroom.

Brett began his private defense practice in 2012. Since then, he’s fought hard for Tampa residents. Initially, he’ll work to have your theft charges dropped or reduced. The best possible outcome is your case getting dismissed. But if the prosecutor insists on pursuing charges, he’ll work toward an acquittal. The best defense will depend on the facts, but you can trust Brett to be honest about what to expect, how to beat the charges, or ease the consequences.

Brett’s criminal defense work has led to great results for his clients, which has caught many respected legal organizations’ attention. He was named a SuperLawyer’s Rising Star in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and placed on the Top 40 Under 40 list by The National Trial Lawyers. He has more than 90 five-star reviews and a perfect 10 rating on Avvo.com.

Florida Theft Offenses We Handle

At Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A., we offer an aggressive defense against all Tampa-area theft charges. Below are some of the most common.

Theft

Under Florida Statute 812.014, you can be charged with stealing if you knowingly obtain or use another person’s property with the intent to deprive the owner it. There are levels of theft in Florida: grand theft in the first degree, grand theft in the second degree, grand theft in the third degree, petit theft in the first degree, and petit theft in the second degree. Grand theft offenses are felonies, while petty theft offenses are misdemeanors.

Robbery

Under Florida Statute 812.13, you can be charged with robbery if you take money or property from another person with the intent to deprive that person of their property by using use force, violence, assault, or fear. If you allegedly had a firearm or other deadly weapon, you’ll face first-degree felony charges. Without any weapon, robbery is a second-degree felony.

Home Invasion

Under Florida Statute 812.135, it is a felony to enter a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery against an occupant of that home. If you allegedly had a gun or other deadly weapon, you face a first-degree felony. Other forms of home-invasion robbery are still first-degree felonies but with lesser sentences.

Carjacking

Under Florida Statute 812.133, if you use fear, force, violence, or assault to take a motor vehicle away from another person, then you can be charged with carjacking. It is a first-degree felony if you had a firearm or deadly weapon. Without a weapon, carjacking is still a first-degree felony, but with the possibility of a lesser sentence.

Burglary

Florida Statute 810.02 defines burglary as entering or remaining in a dwelling or structure without permission and with the intent to commit a crime. Depending on the facts, like whether you were armed, committed an assault, or caused damage, you can be charged with a first-degree felony. Burglary can also be charged as a second- or third-degree felony if there are no or fewer aggravating circumstances.

Shoplifting

Florida has specific shoplifting laws under Florida Statute 812.015. These describe retail theft, which involves taking merchandise, money, altering or removing labels or codes, transferring containers; or removing items with the intent to deprive a merchant of possession, use, benefit, or full retail value of the property. If you’re arrested for shoplifting, you’ll be charged under Florida’s theft statute. However, the shoplifting law may assign a different punishment, including fines and community service.

Fraud

Under the Florida Communications Fraud Act, Statute 817.034, if you engage in a scheme to defraud someone else and obtain property, you can be charged with a first-, second-, or third-degree felony or first-degree misdemeanor depending on the value of the property.

Dealing in Stolen Property

Under Florida Statute 812.019, if you traffic in or attempt to deal with property you know or should know was stolen, you can be charged with a second-degree felony. If you initiate, organize, finance, manage, or supervise trafficking stolen property, you’ll face a first-degree felony.

What Our Clients Are Saying

Brett is the best attorney I’ve ever had. I would recommend his services to anyone in need.
Pink Taylor

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06.07.2021

“James Falls did an amazing job helping my son get some charges dismissed. He communicated with us and explained situations where we would’ve otherwise been clueless to maneuver the justice system. Highly recommend their service!”

5 Stars Review 5

Sherri Albert

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05.20.2021

“This firm is the real deal … James does not mess around when it comes to his clients. Very professional.”

5 Stars Review 5

Adrian Reyes

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01.20.2021

“Brett Metcalf is the best lawyer in the Tampa Bay area. He puts 100% into his work and goes far and beyond what you would expect out of a lawyer. If it wasn’t for Brett and Sam, my husband and…

5 Stars Review 5

Janice Luke

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11.19.2020

“This guy treated me like I was a paying customer. He didn’t give me his opinion, he got on the phone to two separate places and got answers. Very impressed. Great free consultation. Telicia Rose went above and beyond in…

5 Stars Review 5

Lee Yates

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09.18.2020

5 Stars Review 5

Samantha

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08.03.2020

“Brett is an awesome professional attorney! I highly recommend him. Great responsive time and needed information.I will be calling Brett anytime legal advice is needed!!!! GREAT JOB BRETT”

5 Stars Review 5

Heidi Taylor

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07.07.2020

5 Stars Review 5

Latisha Walker

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06.25.2020

“Mr.Metcalf was very quick to call me back for a consultation, even though it was just a consultation. I give him 5 stars for being quick to call me back, was very professional and informative he talked to me as…

5 Stars Review 5

Anthony Garcia

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06.20.2020

“Great attorney.”

5 Stars Review 5

Jesse P. (Big J)

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06.18.2020

“Excellent lawyer.”

5 Stars Review 5

Shell 4evr

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02.27.2019

“Extremely professional and clearly the sharpest tool in any toolbox. Set the tone in the courtroom. This has to be one of the best law offices in Tampa. Thanks, Brett.”

5 Stars Review 5

Daniel Turner

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08.06.2016

“Brett made the process as easy as possible for me on my end, letting me know all options and possible outcomes based on my choices. He was also very attentive and quick to respond to my questions.”

5 Stars Review 5

Clay

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08.06.2016

“I could not be any happier with my experience with Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A. I would advise anyone who needs legal action to choose wisely and choose him for multiple reasons.”

5 Stars Review 5

Marty McPhly

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08.08.2016

“In late 2015, I was in need of a lawyer who could help me. Looking on the internet and asking friends if they knew any great ones was looking pretty bad. Then my younger brother told me about a lawyer…

5 Stars Review 5

Elijah Turner

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08.14.2019

“He did an amazing job for me in Polk County! When I got involved in a situation that needed a criminal lawyer, I was terrified. Having only lived in Florida a few years, I was not prepared for the complexity…

5 Stars Review 5

Lisa Welsh

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08.08.2016

“Brett Metcalf is a top-notch attorney. He also understands that preparation and hard work are keys to success. He possesses the knowledge, the insights, and the advocacy skills to put your legal woes in the past. Equally important, he follows…

5 Stars Review 5

Charles Goddard

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08.10.2016

“Brett Metcalf provides forward-thinking and effective legal counsel. I highly recommend Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A.”

5 Stars Review 5

Annie Shipherd

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08.12.2016

“Very knowledgeable and compassionate. I always felt like I could contact him with questions at any time. He was extremely thorough with information – I can’t stress that enough! I would definitely hire him again and recommend him to anyone,…

5 Stars Review 5

Christa Murray

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08.13.2016

“Brett Metcalf was the best experience that I’ve ever had with any legal professional! He was understanding, honest, and worked diligently throughout my entire DUI case I had several years back. Even with the odds stacked against me, he was…

5 Stars Review 5

Nathan Hester

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04.05.2017

“Brett helped me win full custody of my kids. Any and every question I had, he was right there to answer and explain the process. He was open and honest about the whole process. Extremely good price… and even better…

5 Stars Review 5

James Woodson

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12.02.2017

“I have consulted with Brett on various issues and have found him to be excellent. He is very practical in potential outcomes on legal issues and very reasonable.”

5 Stars Review 5

Albert Piccolo

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04.06.2017

“Wonderful experience with Brett Metcalf. If I had to do it again, I would not change a thing. It’s a good feeling when you know you’re in good hands and your attorney is genuinely concerned about the outcome of your…

5 Stars Review 5

Gerald

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04.08.2017

“Brett Metcalf is the best lawyer in the Tampa Bay area. He puts 100% into his work and goes far and beyond what you would expect out of a lawyer. If it wasn’t for Brett, my husband and I would…

5 Stars Review 5

Janice Luke

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04.09.2017

“Mr. Metcalf was there for me at the most difficult and life-changing time in my life. I was treated respectfully the whole entire process, despite my embarrassing and shameful mistake. He extended honesty and professional courtesy throughout my case, guiding…

5 Stars Review 5

Sharley Lanigan

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04.10.2017

“If you’ve decided to scroll past all the other positive reviews and find yourself reading mine, I’ll start out by saying Brett’s the man. He handles business efficiently and professionally, with the clients’ best interests in mind at all times….

5 Stars Review 5

Evin O

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06.19.2017

“Brett went far out of his way for my multiple cases and managed to keep me a free man even with all the charges that were put on me. 100% behind him from Plant City.”

5 Stars Review 5

Issac Thomas

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08.06.2018

“Brett is an extremely knowledgeable attorney who is a straight shooter, hard worker, and always willing to go the extra mile to fight for his clients. I’ve had to use him two separate times and was more than pleased with…

5 Stars Review 5

Ryan Belden

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01.11.2019

“Mr. Metcalf is very knowledgeable, friendly, and on top of things. In the midst of my confusion and thoughts of the worst possible outcome, Mr. Metcalf took charge and handled the situation with professionalism and tact. I am very pleased…

5 Stars Review 5

Sherry Violet

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09.18.2019

“Brett is the best attorney I’ve ever had. I would recommend his services to anyone in need. Most lawyers just want the money, ignore your calls, and settle for deals. Not Brett! He answered and returned every call! Every penny…

5 Stars Review 5

Pink Taylor

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Average 5 out of 5 rating based on 44 Reviews

Penalties for Theft

Theft is not a minor crime. Many offenses, including grand theft, burglary, robbery, and carjacking, are all charged as felonies. The most serious charges usually those involving force, but the value of what was allegedly taken matters a lot. Talk with a theft lawyer today about the level of the charge against you and the potential penalties.

Felony Theft

Unless a statute specifies a different punishment, first-degree felonies are punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to 15 years and fines up to $10,000. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $5,000.

Misdemeanor Theft

Some low-level theft offenses are misdemeanors. A first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000. Second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and fines up to $500.

What You Should Do if Under Investigation

Don’t talk to the police. If you learn a local law enforcement agency is investigating you because they suspect you committed a theft or fraud crime, call a theft attorney. An officer or detective might reach out for an interview. Be polite but don’t answer any questions. Tell them you’ll get back to them after you’ve consulted a lawyer.

What to Do if You’ve Been Arrested for Theft

If you’ve been arrested for theft, don’t argue with the police. Don’t try to convince them you’re innocent. Instead, say, “I am invoking my right to remain silent.” Then say, “I want a lawyer.” Be clear and concise, and then keep quiet.

Defending Against Theft Crimes

Can you defend yourself against allegations of theft? Absolutely. But you shouldn’t do it alone. To get the best results in your case, work with an experienced lawyer. Call Brett right away to talk about the facts of your case and a potential strategy.

Brett puts in the work to figure out the right strategy for your case. First, he thoroughly reviews the facts and the prosecutor’s evidence. He investigates and gathers evidence regarding the circumstances. He gets to the bottom of what happened and why the police are now blaming you.

After thoroughly scrutinizing your case, Brett will develop a comprehensive defense, including pre-trial motions, jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross-examinations, and closing statements. Creating a cohesive story can raise doubts about the prosecutor’s case.

Possible defenses to theft charges include:

  • There’s been a mistake of identity.
  • You reasonably believed you had consent to take or use the property.
  • You reasonably believed you were entitled to the property.
  • You lacked the intent to deprive the owner of the property.
  • The prosecutor lacks sufficient evidence to prove you committed the offense.

Work with a Theft Lawyer to Understand Your Options

When you work with an experienced theft attorney, you get thorough explanations of the law. Brett will explain why a prosecutor is pursuing charges and what they have to prove to win the case. He’ll also talk with you about your chances of winning a dismissal or acquittal.

He’ll always be honest about how things look, which may include discussing the potential benefits of a plea. When the evidence is against you, his strategy might focus on mitigating the consequences, like probation or paying restitution.

Call a Tampa Theft Attorney Today

If you are dealing with any theft crime charge, get a lawyer right away. You want to protect your rights and defend yourself as soon as possible. You can reach out to Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A. at (813) 258-4800 or through our online contact form. We offer free, confidential consultations. Brett is available 24/7 to defend you.