Interviewer: Could it ever be the case where someone says. “Hey, I am just taking a little money out and I am going to repay it later on because I found a way to get a little bit of money here “and just end up being caught. Is that ever the case sometimes?
Randy Berman: It might be the motivation of an individual who is committing fraud or embezzlement, but that defense is worthless because your intention to pay back is meaningless when you unlawfully take someone’s property. An individual who chooses to unlawfully take someone else’s property doesn’t have the luxury of determining when they are going to pay it back or if it is okay because they think they are going to pay it back, It is not their right.
Once the Crime is Committed, Good Intentions May Mitigate the Outcome
You take it without permission; you commit the crime, whether you intended to pay it back truthfully or not. It might go to mitigation if you did in fact pay some back before you were caught so that at sentencing on a conviction it might have some impact on the judges sentence. It doesn’t negate the fact that the crime occurred.
Theft Crimes Are Evolving Into Cyber Crimes With the Advent of the Internet
Interviewer: Are theft crimes or theft charges evolving more into internet crimes? Are people getting in trouble for those situations?
Randy Berman: Daily, there is probably more theft committed via the internet than anywhere else, because it is so easy. There are people that are very adept at stealing people’s identities and there’s a whole industry to prevent identity theft. Once they get an identity, not only can they use your credit cards to steal from you, steal from the banks that gave you the card but they can take out loans in your name.
They can buy other products in your name so the fact that there is no risk of one on one taking and being seen. The internet allows for you to remain hidden at least from personal observation. Ultimately with the tools that they can use to find out what computer conducted what transaction and the ability to specifically pinpoint an address where that computer is located; police are able to find those individuals and charge them. It is a lot more difficult but it happens all the time.
The Ease of Committing a Crime on the Internet is Alluring to Would Be Theft Offenders
Interviewer: Is it the temptation sometimes or is it the thrill people do this for?
Randy Berman: The ease of committing an internet crime definitely has an impact on people that are predisposed to commit them and to do them much more frequently or without as much reservation as a person that is willing to pry open someone’s sliding glass door and rummage their home.
The Process of Expungement for Theft Charges in the State of Florida
Interviewer: Are there any ways that a theft charge can be expunged, sealed or removed from a record?
Randy Berman: Yes. Any charge that is not prohibited and there is a list of prohibited charges, mostly sex charges or violent crimes can’t be sealed or expunged but any other charge where there is no conviction as a result of the charge can be initially sealed and then ultimately expunged. In Florida we call it a withheld adjudication. First time offenders who have a theft and it can be a grand theft charge who get a withheld adjudication as a disposition of the case can get that case sealed .After it is sealed for ten years then it can be expunged. A conviction for any crime in Florida prohibits sealing or expunging whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony. If the result of the case is dismissal prior to proceeding to trial, that can be expunged immediately but if a plea deal is worked out and the person gets a withheld adjudication on the case then that can be sealed.