A 22-year-old gas station clerk in Port St. Lucie was charged with grand theft after allegedly stealing 40 $25 scratch-off lottery tickets from her employer. She has been released on a $3,750 bond.
Surveillance camera footage appears to show the woman taking the tickets from a storage bin at 7:30 a.m. and placing them in a pouch on the office door of the store. Police reported that she returned to the pouch at 9:05 a.m. She was said to have retrieved the tickets and then left the store. An arrest affidavit said that upon being confronted by the store manager, the woman allegedly admitted the theft and returned all but two scratched off tickets which she offered to pay for. Neither of the tickets that she scratched off paid anything.
Florida law classifies grand theft as a felony in the third degree when the value of the property stolen was between $300 and $1,000. The value of the lottery tickets was $1,000. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine not to exceed $5,000 restitution, and a permanent record of a felony conviction. Probation is often a viable sentencing alternative.
Jeffrey H. Garland is a board certified Port St. Lucie County criminal defense lawyer, and he advises that there are several viable defenses to a grand theft charge. When being prosecuted for grand theft, a defendant’s choice of attorney is a critical decision. A knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney can make a significant difference in how a case turns out. If credible defenses don’t exist, mitigating arguments can be made with an aim toward avoiding incarceration and a permanent felony record.
If you or somebody close to you has been charged with a crime, contact board certified criminal defense attorney Jeffrey H. Garland for an individualized case consultation and evaluation at (772) 242-6380. He handles cases throughout Florida’s Treasure Coast.