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What is grand theft to the 3rd degree and uttering forged instruments/check 10 counts? and prison time if any

Miami, FL |

my boyfriend boyfriend was arrest because his ex girlfriend claimed she didnt know of different activites on her account, back in January of last year she gave him her bank card so when he needed money he can withdraw it, not here it is 2013 and they are trying to say she wanted to press charges against him. I need help understanding if she didnt want to press charges can the state still proceed with the charges even when she said dont want?

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Attorney answers 3


Each charge of grand theft or the uttering forged instrument is a 3rd degree felony by a maximum punishment of 5 years prison for each. The decision to prosecute rests with the State Attorney. While the State will take into account the wishes of a victim, the ultimate decision is the State's and they have prosecuted people even though the victim did not want it.

This is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist.


"Uttering" is a 3rd degree felony, and each count (charge) is punishable by prison time (how much depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the charges, the victim, the defendant, the State and the Judge) up to a miximum of 5 years per count. Uttering basically means that person X passed, or tried to pass, something of value (in this case a credit card) knowing (for any number of reasons, again apparently in this case because the owner of the card allegedly did not give him the authority to do so) that he was not permitted to do so and yet doing so with the intent to injure or defraud the owner of the item of value. Its similar to theft (which is another felony - in this case 3rd dregree theft means a 3rd degree felony and is punushable in the same manner as each of the uttering charges - by a maximum 5 year prison term per count).

From your question this sounds like a typical "he said / she said" scenario, and those are tough, for both sides. Every case is different, so generic advise is dangerous, but generally in these cases the proof comes directly from the victim's mouth - "he did not have my permission" and therefore everything he did with her card was unlawful. However, for every arugument there is a counter-argument (i.e. he says "she gave me permission and took it away after the fact"). The statements will either exist on their own, with he saying yes and her saying no, or there will be other proof which may sway a State Attorney, a Judge, a Juror or a Jury. Examples of this would be a significant history of other credit card transactions preceeding these questionable transactions for which she did not complain, independent witnesses to other transactions or or her previous acknowledgement of her permission for other transactions, etcetera; but it will be critical to carefully exmine each of the transactions in question (e.g. what did he buy, and for whom), as well as those thay preceeded (and definitely any that may be subsequent).

In cases like these there are many other factors which could be significant (like maybe shes a jealous ex who wants is hell bent on exacting revenge, maybe he has a history of theft /fraud, mayshe she has a history of lying or vengeful behavior), so its important to know that every criminal case is different and each must be evaluated on its own to determine a sound litigation objective and to appropriately tailor fees to the circumstances, and that is precisely what Michael A. Haber, P.A. does: We provide boutique services to a limited number of individual cases, primarily in the criminal defense litigation arena.

If you would like to scheule an appointment to discuss this matter in greater detail please give us a call at either 305-381-8686 or 1-888-SHARK-8-1.


Grand Theft in the 3rd degree involves the taking of property of a value between $300.00 and $20,000.00. There are other factors that come into play but given your fact pattern it's fair to assume they don't apply. Uttering forged instruments usually refers to the altering of official records such as deeds, powers of attorney, etc. In a case like this, the state will need to prove the lack of permission, so they will likely need her testimony. Your boyfriend should consult a criminal defense attorney.

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