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 or to appropriate the property to his or her own use or the use of another who is not entitled.
Types of Theft
Florida laws distinguish between petit theft and grand theft. The type of theft determines whether the State will prosecute an offense as a misdemeanor or a felony. The type of theft often depends on the value of the property. The value of the property taken is determined by the fair market value at the time it was taken. Here are the most common degrees of theft:
First Degree Petit Theft
- Stolen property valued between $100 and $750
- Maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine
Third Degree Grand Theft
- If the value of the property taken is in excess of $750.
- Punishable by a maximum of 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Petit theft is an enhanceable offense. If you have two prior convictions for theft, you could be charged with a felony for subsequent thefts regardless of the value of the property taken.
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.
Fighting theft charges involve holding the State to their burden of producing enough evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt. Attorney Brandon Gans is certified in Loss Prevention Management and investigates surveillance video, receipts, photographs, witness statements, and even store loss prevention policies.