Theft crimes in Florida usually come down to two major types: petit thefts and grand thefts. Petit theft in Florida usually means stealing property valued at less than $750, while grand thefts refer to stolen property that is valued at $750 or above. But there are some exceptions. In either case, being convicted of theft in Florida carries heavy repercussions.
If convicted, the offender risks jail time, fines, probation, restitution, and a criminal record, among other things. It all depends on the circumstances of the case, such as how the theft occurred, what type of property was stolen, and its value.
Theft Crimes in Florida
Petit theft in Florida is the lowest level of a theft offense, and it usually means stealing property valued at less than $750. Petit thefts are usually considered misdemeanors and can be classified as second-degree or first-degree misdemeanors.
Penalties range from 60 days to one year imprisonment and fines between $500 and $1,000. Grand theft charges, on the other hand, are the highest level of theft offenses and are usually applied when the property stolen is at $750 or above. However, even if the stolen property is below $750 but not below $100 and the act occurred in or around someone’s home, it is also considered grand theft.
Grand theft crimes are considered felonies of the third, second, and first degrees and are punishable by between five to 30 years in prison and fines of $5,000 to $10,000.
Although petit and grand theft are the two major categories of theft crimes, several types of theft can fall under them, such as retail theft, employee theft, auto theft, and identity theft.
Retail theft is commonly known as shoplifting, and it entails stealing merchandise from a retail store. Depending on the value of the stolen merchandise, this type of theft can be prosecuted as either a petit or grand theft.
Employee theft refers to any kind of action on the part of the employee that constitutes stealing from their employer. Similar to retail theft, employee theft can also be prosecuted as petit or grand theft based on the value of the stolen goods.
Auto theft refers strictly to stealing motor vehicles. Unlike other types of theft, this form of theft is mostly charged as grand theft, regardless of the value of the stolen vehicle.
Identity theft involves using someone else’s personal information to commit fraud and other crimes. It is mostly considered a grand theft and labeled as a third-degree misdemeanor. Still, just like in retail or employee theft, it depends on the value of the damages—but since this type of theft usually involves large sums of money, they are often considered grand thefts.
Regardless of what type of theft crimes you are charged with, a criminal defense attorney can help you through the legal process. In some cases, you might have your charges reduced and receive a lighter sentence. If the prosecutor doesn’t have enough evidence or you were falsely accused of theft, your charges can be dropped altogether.