Joyriding may seem like a good time until the charges start adding up. That is the cold, hard truth that three Palm Beach County teens are facing. According to police reports, Benjamin David Goldberg and two underage accomplices are looking at some serious consequences after admitting to stealing three luxury cars in the area.
You may be asking yourself, “What’s the big deal? It’s not like they kept it cars.” True, they did return the cars, but it is still illegal to take something that is not yours. Plus, joyriding usually indicates that the individuals are acting in poor judgment. In fact, Goldberg’s reckless driving was the initial call to police that led to his apprehension for theft. So, how serious are the offenses? The accused are facing serious charges of grand theft auto and auto burglary.
Grand Theft Auto
Compared to other states, Florida is not as specific in terms of the statute of what constitutes grand theft auto. Essentially, the state takes on the stance that grand theft indicates that the property taken was over $300 and grand theft auto only means that the property happened to be a vehicle. However, even if the amount of the vehicle is valued at a petty theft amount, grand theft auto is still categorized as a third-degree felony. This could mean jail time, probation, hefty fines, or a combination of some kind.
Burglary in the state of Florida is a first-degree felony offense that could lead to serious prison time. The statute indicates that burglary is different than simply theft because the accused entered a vehicle that was not their own. By statute, a car is a personal space much like a home. Of course, there are a number of factors that could add or reduce sentencing such as whether or not force was used or if a weapon was involved in the crime. Only time will tell how this particular case plays out in court.
It’s Not Just a Game
Joyriding may seem like a victimless crime, but the courts take this type of behavior very seriously. While the event may have started out as just a few teens looking for a thrill, it quickly led to serious consequences that could have lasting impacts. It should serve as a reminder that even crimes that don’t include violence or weapons can still lead to a felony charge.
Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
Are you facing criminal charges in Florida? If so, give Scott Skier a call. He is located in West Palm Beach, Florida, and has diverse criminal defense experience and the knowledge to craft a legal defense for various types of cases. He has the skill and aggressive nature to take on your case and help you get the best results possible. Every case deserves the time and attention that Attorney Skier can offer to each of his clients. Contact him today for a free consultation. Your future may depend on it.