Using An Unsecured WIFI Is Not Akin To Violating Anybody’s Protected Proprietary Right

Interviewer: Can someone use a free WIFI or WIFI that’s around a certain particular area or their neighbors Wi-Fi?

Randy Berman: Using Wi-Fi is different because if you are on a unsecured Wi-Fi signal, you’re not tapping in to anybody’s protected proprietary right. When you splice in the cable or use a pirate box, your circumventing the cable company’s right for them to get their fees for service. If you are not doing anything unlawful to hook into a Wi-Fi internet service and you are able to get whatever, there’s no prohibition against that.

The Potential Consequences of Writing a Bad or a Hot Check in Florida

Interviewer: What if someone were to write a bad check or a hot check. Could someone be charged with a theft charge on that kind of situation?

Randy Berman: Yes, there are a few different crimes that involve checks. One crime is where you own the check, it’s your check but you closed your account and you proceed to write a check on a closed account. If that check is cashed or honored, you’re committing a theft because the check is a promise to pay and giving a check on a closed account is knowingly not promising to pay, so it is theft or fraud. The other method that comes to mind is where you steal someone’s check and then you forge someone’s signature and cash it, so that involves not only theft but forgery.

The Impact of a Theft Charge On the Life of An Individual In Florida

Interviewer: What’s the reality of a theft charge?

Randy Berman: In all crimes, whether it is theft, forgery, or whatever, there has to be an element proved that you intentionally did it. Any misunderstanding, misapprehension good faith error can be the basis of the defense. Of course you’ve got to convince the judge or jury that it’s the case when you’re defending that type of charge.

Employers Do Not Tend to Look Favorably on a Potential Employee Convicted of Theft Charges

Interviewer: Would you say that employers are not going to look too favorably on someone convicted of a theft charge?

Randy Berman: Theft charges have a double hex, because if you are convicted, there is a record of your conviction, which a potential employer could find from doing a check on you. Theft carries with it an added scarlet letter of being a crime going to your honesty and truthfulness. They consider theft crimes, crimes that suggest you’re not a trustworthy person, you’re not an honest person as opposed to a DUI conviction, which suggests yes you’ve got a conviction for this crime but it doesn’t impact your honesty or your trustworthiness like theft would.

Theft Offenses Are Construed as Crimes of Moral Turpitude In Florida

Interviewer:  Would theft be one of those crimes that are referred to as a crime of moral turpitude?

Randy Berman:  Yes. In fact in Florida a person can be impeached if they testify with any felony conviction or any crime that’s suggests dishonesty. You can have a DUI conviction, a battery conviction, a misdemeanor conviction, a trespass conviction but if you have a retail theft conviction and you testify that retail theft conviction can be brought out in cross examination to challenge your honesty or the integrity of what you are testifying to. Just like a felony can.

An Overview of White Collar Crimes and Their Relation to Theft Charges

Interviewer: What are some of the examples of white-collar crimes that are within the realms of theft?

Randy Berman: Yes. Embezzlement, fraud, these are all white collar crimes. People that work at banks manipulate accounts and take the money and transfer it into their account. People that are able to get other people’s credit card information and make charges on that person’s card without their knowledge. The mortgage fraud type cases, the insurance fraud type cases ; those are all under the umbrella of white-collar crime.