A theft conviction–from shoplifting, petit or grand theft–can steal much of your future being that Florida categorizes these crimes as crimes of dishonesty. With a conviction, your criminal record will follow you beyond a harsh jail sentence and costly fines.
Being that theft is a crime of dishonesty, a simple background check could derail employment and renting a place to live. It can even challenge your ability to obtain a professional license–blocking you from a rewarding career in teaching, law, real estate and medicine.
Experienced legal representation can make all the difference in your future. As with all criminal cases, you’re innocent until proven guilty. And it’s up to the prosecution to prove criminal intent. The right legal arguments can weaken any theft case against you by questioning if the theft was accidental and the reliability of witnesses. That’s why it’s important to not speak to authorities without your attorney by your side.
And even if evidence is overwhelming, the right defense strategy and negotiation tactics could help reduce the charges to the point where no criminal record will trouble your future.
Already have a theft conviction? There’s the possibility that your criminal record could be sealed and expunged–clearing your future of needless burdens and obstacles.
Let a Theft Crime Lawyer Who Knows the Law Fight for You!
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Your Guide to Florida Theft Crime Laws
How Theft is Defined in Florida
It all comes down to criminal intent. Did the person charged with theft knowingly take or use someone else’s property either temporarily or permanently.
Classification and Penalties of Theft
Petit (Petty) Theft of the Second Degree
- Stolen property valued less than $100
- Considered a misdemeanor of the second degree
- Can result in imprisonment up to 60 days and a fine up to $500
Petit (Petty) Theft of the First Degree
- Stolen property valued between $100 to $300
- Considered a misdemeanor of the first degree
- Can result in imprisonment up to 1 year and a fine up to $1,000
Grand Theft of the Third Degree
- Stolen property valued between $100 and $300, taken from in or around someone’s home
- Stolen property valued at less than $20,000
- Also, specific stolen property can be considered Grand Theft:
- Motor vehicle
- Commercially farmed animal
- Fire extinguisher
- More than 2,000 individual pieces of citrus fruit
- Property taken from a construction site
- Stop sign
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Any amount of a controlled substance
- Can result in imprisonment up to 5 years and a fine up to $5,000
Grand Theft of the Second Degree
- Stolen property valued between $20,000 and $100,000
- Cargo which has entered interstate or intrastate commerce valued at less than $50,000
- Emergency medical equipment valued at $300 or more
- Law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more
- Can result in imprisonment up to 15 years and a fine up to $10,000
Grand Theft of the First Degree
- Stolen property valued at $100,000 or more
- A semitrailer deployed by a law enforcement officer
- Cargo which has entered interstate or intrastate commerce valued at more than $50,000
- Any grand theft in which the offender uses a motor vehicle as an instrument of the crime and causes more than $1,000 worth of damage to real or personal property
- Can result in imprisonment up to 30 years and a fine up to $10,000