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What constitutes theft and robbery in Florida?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2021 | Theft Offenses |

In everyday use, the term “theft” and “robbery” are generally understood by Florida residents to mean the taking of property that does not belong to the perpetrator. While this is an accurate overall definition, the terms “theft” and “robbery” in the legal realm have specific definitions that the state must use to prosecute offenders.

What is theft under Florida law?

Under Florida law, Theft offenses occur when someone “knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently” to either deprive the owner of his or her rightful use of the property or to use it himself or herself in an improper manner without the permission of the owner.

Theft is a property crime and is nonviolent – meaning it does not involve the use of force. A common example of a Florida theft case would involve stealing a bicycle, car, or another piece of property.

various levels of theft charges that carry different criminal penalties. Cases involving the theft of expensive objects, for example, are classified as “grand theft” and are punished more harshly than theft of less valuable objects.

What is robbery under Florida law?

Robbery is similar to theft but differs in one important respective: it refers to the unlawful acquisition of property “when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.” Because of the human element, these crimes are more serious than theft and result in harsher penalties.

To briefly summarize, theft is simply taking an object that doesn’t belong to you while robbery is using force or the threat of force to do so. Whether you are charged with robbery or theft in Florida, mounting a well-crafted defense is essential to achieving the best possible outcome in the criminal justice system.