Petty Theft , Grand Theft and Shoplifting Charges in Florida
A person commits “theft” is he or she “knowingly obtains or uses the property…of another with the intent to, either temporarily or permanently: deprive the person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property, OR appropriates the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to use of the property.
“Shoplifting” goes by many names. Depending on the laws in your state, it may be called “petty theft” or “petty larceny,” “fourth degree” theft, or maybe even “shoplifting.” Practically everyone’s heard the term and knows pretty much what it means. Most people may not realize, however, just how serious the crime is.
The classic example of shoplifting or petty theft is when someone takes something from a store without paying for it. Stuart police are looking for man who grabbed iPhones from a store and ran. Stuart police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who allegedly stole two iPhones from an AT&T store.
In Florida, the seriousness of a theft charge depends upon the amount taken. Theft of $300 or less is misdemeanor petty theft, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Theft or embezzlement of more than $300 is grand theft, a felony that may be subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three or more years.
Florida Theft / Shoplifting Penalties
Theft penalties are sorted by degrees according to the value of the items taken.
First (1st) Degree Grand Theft
If the stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more, then the defendant will be charged with 1st Degree Grand Theft, which is a 1st Degree Felony. First degree felonies have a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
2nd Degree Grand Theft
If the stolen property is valued between $20,000 and $99,999, then the defendant will be charged with 2nd Degree Grand Theft, which is a 2nd Degree Felony. Second degree felonies have a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
3rd Degree Grand Theft
If the stolen property is valued between $300 and $19,999, then the defendant will be charged with 3rd Degree Grand Theft, which is a 3rd Degree Felony. A charge of third degree grand theft also applies if the property take is a firearm, a motor vehicle, a commercially farmed animal, a fire extinguisher, any amount of fruit consisting of 2,000 or more individual pieces, any stop sign, construction signs, or anhydrous ammonia.
The penalty for a third degree felony is a maximum of 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Different Rules for Juveniles
The rules are a bit different for juveniles – usually those who are under 18 years old. There’s still a conviction on their records (it’s usually called an adjudication of delinquency). And, while the crime is still a misdemeanor, the sentencing possibilities are different. For example, rather than being sent to the county jail with adult offenders, a juvenile may be sent to a detention center where other young offenders are held.
Also, it’s likely a juvenile will be required to work community service – like pick-up trash along a highway – or attend a special course about shoplifting and crimes in general. In most cases, though, the juvenile will be ordered to make restitution and pay fine, just like an adult.
West Palm Beach Petty and Grand Theft Defense Attorney
At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, we take a proactive approach in defending clients who have been charged with theft. Even a conviction for petty theft can be very detrimental to your future. A misdemeanor shoplifting conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. In addition, one petty theft conviction will build on another, and your third offense will be charged as a felony.
Many theft charges can be resolved through a diversion program called pre-trial intervention. If you want to take responsibility for the theft charge, we can take the money you would otherwise pay us and use it instead to pay restitution, fine, and court costs. Our fees for this would be less than defending you in a court trial, and we can often resolve the charge without you getting a criminal record. If we are successful in getting the charges dismissed, we can have your record sealed, so that if you are ever asked if you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, you can confidently answer no.
If you did not commit the crime of theft, we can prepare an aggressive defense and force the state to prove its case.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.