Theft Crimes

Theft Crimes

Whether a theft offender is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on the value of what has been stolen and whether the offender has any prior convictions. In Florida, misdemeanors are prosecuted by the County Court Division of the State Attorney’s Office, while felonies are prosecuted by the Circuit Court Division of the State Attorney’s Office. The more serious the offense, the more serious the penalties will be.

Florida Statutes say that a theft crime occurs when a person intentionally uses or obtains—or tries to use or obtain—someone else’s property either permanently or temporarily and a) tries to take that property for his or her own use or gives it to someone else who isn’t entitled to that property for their use or b) deprives the owner of the property of their legal right to have or benefit from the property.

Common Theft Crimes:

Auto Theft: stealing or attempting to steal any kind of motor vehicle that is legally authorized to run on a public road.

Burglary: illegally entering or trespassing into a building or home for the purpose of committing or attempting to commit a crime.

Shoplifting: stealing an item that is being sold at a retail establishment.

Robbery: using intimidation or violence to steal an item or property.

Penalties for theft can include restitution, probation, and prison time. Having a theft conviction on your record can bring with it long-term consequences, including the loss of eligibility for certain loans and employment opportunities.

According to Florida Statutes:

Grand Theft of the second degree that is punishable as a second degree felony occurs when the stolen property is worth at least $20,000 but under $100,000.

Grand Theft of the third degree that is punishable as a third degree felony occurs when the stolen property is:

  • Worth $5000-$10,000.
  • Worth $300-$5000.
  • A motor vehicle.
  • A will or another form of testament.
  • 2,000 or more pieces of citrus fruit.
  • Anhydrous ammonia.
  • A firearm.
  • A commercial farm animal.
  • A fire extinguisher.
  • A stop sign.

A petty theft misdemeanor of the first degree can occur if the property stolen has a $100-$300 value. An offender who is accused of committing petty theft and has a prior theft conviction can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. An offender who is accused of committing petty theft and already has two prior theft convictions can be charged with a third degree felony.

If you have been arrested for a theft crime in Florida, it is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. Your criminal lawyer can build a successful defense for you as well as find out of if there is a way to reduce the charges against you.