What Constitutes Petit Theft In Florida?
Unlawfully taking property that is not yours and that you are not entitled to is theft. When that property is worth less than $750, in Florida, this crime is called petit theft. Petit theft is a misdemeanor offense in most cases but can be a felony offense in others.
Petit theft is not solely limited to only stealing from a store, for example. Individuals can steal property that is less than $750 from other people and from businesses. Penalties for petit theft range, and the details of one’s petit theft crime will be used to determine how harsh criminal punishments will be.
If you were arrested for petit theft in Florida, the Orlando theft crime attorneys at Joshi Law Firm, PA, can help you with your charges. Even though misdemeanor petit theft comes with lesser criminal penalties than felony theft crimes, there will still be legal repercussions for committing petit theft. Not to mention, the consequences of a petit theft conviction can harm your reputation and inhibit your ability to secure many opportunities in life. Having strong and experienced legal representation protecting your interests is critical.
Petit Theft in Florida
As mentioned earlier, the stolen property must be valued under $750 to be considered petit theft. For a defendant facing petit theft crimes to be convicted, the following elements must be true:
- The defendant willfully, deliberately, and consciously either did take property or attempted to take property unlawfully.
- Intent was present in one of two ways:
- Intent was present to take property from another party to hurt them and take away their ability to benefit from said property.
- Intent was present to take property from another party for the defendant to benefit or for another unlawful party to benefit.
So, the prosecution in a petit theft case must prove that the defendant was guilty of stealing property and wanted to steal.
If the prosecution secures a conviction, the following penalties will apply:
- First Degree Misdemeanor Petit Theft will come with as long as one year in jail or probation for 12 months, and the fine will be $1,000.
- Second Degree Petit Theft happens when the stolen property is worth less than $100. A conviction can result in either as long as 60 days in jail or probation for six months. Additionally, the fine is $500.
- Felony Petit Theft can result in as long as five years of imprisonment or probation for five years.
A petit theft conviction in Florida can also leave you with a suspended license for six months for a first offense, but if convicted a second time, your license will be suspended for a year. Along with fines, jail time or probation, and license suspension, you will also have a criminal record.
Speak to a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Today
When you meet with one of our Orlando criminal defense lawyers at Joshi Law Firm, PA, you will have your case examined to determine the right defense strategy. Luckily there are several different approaches to defending against a conviction of petit theft charges.
For more information and to schedule a free initial consultation, please call Joshi Law Firm, PA, at (407) 661-1109.