Types of Theft in Florida


Theft is defined by Florida Statute 812.014 as the taking of property of another with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the person of a right to the property.

Types of Theft

Petit Theft

Florida laws distinguish between petit & grand theft. The type determines whether the State will prosecute an offense as a misdemeanor or a felony. It often depends on the value of the property. The fair market value determines the value of the property taken at the time it was taken. 

Petit theft occurs when a person steals or tries to steal property from a person or business when the value of the property is less than $750.

Grand Theft

Grand theft is any intentional and unlawful taking of property valued at $750 or more. Grand theft is a felony offense, with penalties that include prison, probation, fines, restitution, and a permanent criminal record. 

Dealing in Stolen Property

Dealing in stolen property is a theft-related offense in Florida. It occurs when a person sells, transfers, distributes or otherwise disposes of stolen property knowing or having reason to know that the property is in fact stolen.

According to Florida Statute 812.019 any person who traffics in, or endeavors to traffic in, property that they know or should know was stolen shall be guilty of a second-degree felony. That is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment or 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.

Dealing in stolen property can be upgraded to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment, where a person initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages, or supervises the theft of property, and then traffics the stolen property.

Elements of Theft

The typical elements of theft include:

  • Taking someone’s personal property or money without permission
  • Carrying the property away, and
  • Intend to keep the property temporarily or permanently.

Most people associate theft with the taking of property, but the crime can also involve stealing services or someone’s identity. Other common types of theft include fraud and embezzlement.


Second Degree Petit Theft

  • Stolen property valued at less than $100
  • Second-degree misdemeanor
  • Maximum 60 days in jail and a fine of $500

First Degree Petit Theft

  • Stolen property valued between $100 and $750
  • First-degree misdemeanor
  • Maximum 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000

Petit theft is an enhanceable offense. If you have two prior convictions, you could be charged with a felony for subsequent thefts regardless of the value of the property taken.

If you are adjudicated guilty of petit theft, your driver’s license can be suspended for 6 months for a first offense and one year for a second offense.

Grand Theft is committed when a person unlawfully takes another person’s property that is worth more than $750 with the intent to deprive the owner of the right to their property.

Third Degree Grand Theft

  • The stolen property is more than $750
  • Third-degree felony 
  • Maximum 5 years in prison and a fine of $5,000 

Second Degree Grand Theft

  • If the value of the property taken is worth more than $20,000 but less than $100,000
  • Second-degree felony
  • Maximum 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000

First Degree Grand Theft

  • If the value of the property exceeds $100,000
  • First-degree felony
  • Maximum 30 years in prison and a fine of $10,000

Theft of Statutory Property

Theft of certain items, such as fire extinguishers, livestock, motor vehicles, firearms, stop signs, and property taken from posted construction sites, are also considered felony offenses regardless of their monetary value.

Defending Theft charges

Fighting theft charges involve holding the State to its burden of producing enough evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt. Attorney Brandon Gans is certified in Loss Prevention Management and has experience prosecuting a variety of theft offenses. As an Orlando criminal defense attorney, he investigates surveillance video, receipts, photographs, witness statements, and even store loss prevention policies. Call now for a free case evaluation.

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