A theft conviction can have serious consequences. Prison times, fines, and a criminal record are some of the consequences. Read to learn more about Florida’s theft laws.
What is Considered Theft in Florida?
Florida defines theft as knowingly obtaining, using, or attempting to obtain or use another’s property, with the intent to permanently or temporarily:
- deprive the person of the property, or
- convert the property to an unauthorized use (such as embezzlement or misappropriation).
The legal definition is simple enough, but it covers a broad range of theft. These terms include taking another person’s property, obtaining property by fraud, or making unauthorized use of property. The term “property” is broader than it appears and includes real property, personal property, property rights and benefits, and public and private services.
Examples of Theft:
- Grabbing someone else’s wallet from a table.
- Grabbing a tube of toothpaste from a store shelf,
- Buying something from a relative’s bank account without permission.
- Splicing a neighbor’s cable line to get free channels.
Petit Theft and Grand Theft
Penalties for theft depend on the amount stolen, type of property stolen, if a weapon was used, and other circumstances that were involved.
Please review Florida’s State Statutes.
Also known as petty theft, this is the lowest level theft offense and refers to stolen property valued at less than $100. It is a 2nd degree misdemeanor and can carry up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail time.
If the stolen property is valued at over $100 and less than $750, petit theft becomes a 1st-degree misdemeanor and can carry up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison.
There are a variety of theft offenses that fall under the category of grand theft, including:
- property valued at $750 or more but less than $20,000
- property valued between $100 and $750 and taken from in or around someone's home
- a motor vehicle (unless used in the commission of a crime, see first-degree grand theft)
- any commercially farmed animal
- an installed fire extinguisher (not inventory)
- more than 2,000 individual pieces of citrus fruit
- any property taken from a construction site
- a stop sign
- anhydrous ammonia, or
- any amount of a controlled substance.
Grand theft of the 3rd-degree can carry a fine not to exceed $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
Grand theft of the 2nd-degree can carry a fine not to exceed $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison and includes theft of these items:
- property valued between $5,000 and $20,000 stolen during a declared state of emergency (looting)
- property valued between $20,000 and $100,000
- cargo valued at less than $50,000 which has entered interstate or intrastate commerce, or
- emergency medical or law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more.
Grand theft of the 1st-degree can carry a fine of up to $10.000 and up to 30 years in prison. 1st-degree grand theft is the most serious level of theft and includes theft of these items:
- property valued at $100,000 or more
- a semitrailer deployed by a law enforcement officer
- cargo valued at more than $50,000 which has entered interstate or intrastate commerce
- any grand theft in which the offender uses a motor vehicle (other than the getaway car) as an instrument of the crime
- any grand theft that causes more than $1,000 worth of damage to real or personal property, or
- grand theft of the second degree that occurs during a declared state of emergency.
Enhanced Penalties for Theft
Florida increases penalties for habitual felony offenses, repeat petit (or petty) thefts, and thefts involving a victim age 65 or older.
If you have been accused of theft, call Ronald Chapman. Ronald Chapman has a thorough understanding of Florida’s theft laws and helps his clients fight the theft charges brought against them.. Ronald Chapman is an experienced defense attorney who knows the Florida criminal court system's ins and outs and is dedicated to his clients. Ronald Chapman can help you with your case.
Defense Attorney West Palm Beach
Ronald Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. Since 1990, Mr. Chapman has been representing people accused of committing various types of crimes. If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, Ronald Chapman can help. Schedule your FREE Consultation! Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his website.
Visit us at https://www.justiceflorida.com/ You can also connect with the West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! Ronald Chapman, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, dedicated to defending your rights. Contact him today to begin to discuss your case.
Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
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West Palm Beach, FL 33401
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