What to know about theft in Florida
Most all states treat theft as a serious charge, though penalties vary. New laws in Florida have raised the property value amounts for charges. Theft in Fort Lauderdale, Florida covers several offenses that are charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
Overview of Florida theft law
A person in Florida commits theft if they illegally take someone’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it. They also must knowingly and willingly take the property and convert it for their own use or through another unauthorized person.
The lowest charge among theft offenses is second degree petit theft, which involves property with a value of $100 or less. First-degree petit theft is stealing property with a value of at least $100, but not more than $750. Shoplifting is a common form of petit theft.
First-degree grand theft is stealing property worth $100,000 or more, or law enforcement or medical equipment with a $300 value. Second-degree grand theft includes the theft of property worth between $20,000 and $100,000 or looted property worth between $5,000 and $20,000.
The penalty for petit theft in the first degree commonly includes up to a one-year jail term and a $1,000 fine. The penalty for second-degree petit theft commonly carries up to a 60-day jail term and a $500 fine.
The penalty for a grand theft first-degree charge may carry a maximum jail term of 30 years and a $10,000 fine. A second-degree theft charge commonly includes a penalty of $10,000 and a maximum 15-year jail term. Penalties may increase under certain situations, such as stealing property worth $1,000 or more from someone 65 or older.
Theft charges often include license suspension, civil restitution, and a criminal record. However, the defense may challenge the charges or request a plea bargain.