Recent data from the FBI estimates more than 4,900 theft offenses and more than 500 motor vehicle thefts just in the city of Tampa in 2017. Being arrested for theft in Florida comes with serious potential criminal penalties, as well as social costs for a person who is convicted. Theft is rarely a singular charge, and additional charges may be made, depending on how much property was stolen, the type of property stolen, and the criminal history of the defendant.
If you are charged with theft, speak to a lawyer at Khonsari Law Group and learn if we can help you. Our team of legal professionals is dedicated to giving our clients the very strongest defense, and working for the best possible outcome in every case. Contact our office at (727) 269-5300 or online to schedule a free consultation.
How Does Florida Define Theft?
Under Florida law, theft may be charged under two main categories: grand theft and petty theft. The broad definition of theft includes three elements, requiring that a person:
- Takes or uses another party’s property
- Intends to deprive the party of their right to the property or benefit from the property
- Takes the property for their own use or the use of another who is not entitled to the property
Penalties for Theft in Florida
Penalties for theft in Florida depend on whether the charge is grand theft or petty theft (also known as petit theft), and vary based on the value of the stolen property. The general sentencing for each level of crime:
- Third degree grand theft occurs when stolen property is valued at more than $300 and less than $20,000. However, value does not matter if the stolen property is a motor vehicle, firearm, farm animal, fire extinguisher, more than 2,000 pieces of fruit, a stop sign, signs from a construction site, anhydrous ammonia, or controlled substances. Those convicted may face a maximum of five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
- Second degree grand theft occurs when stolen property is valued between $20,000 and $99,999, and comes with fines up to $10,000 and a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
- First degree grand theft occurs when stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more. The court may also charge someone with first degree grand theft if they did more than $1,000 worth of property damage or used a motor vehicle while committing the crime. It carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Second degree petty theft occurs when stolen property is worth less than $100. It comes with a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
- First degree petty theft occurs when stolen property is valued at more than $100, but less than $300. If a person is convicted they may face a $1,000 fine and a maximum of one year in jail. Repeat offenders will be charged with a third degree felony regardless of property value.
Get the Legal Help You Need Today
If you have been charged with theft in Tampa, speak to a defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact Khonsari Law Group at (727) 269-5300 or online for a free consultation. We will evaluate your case and help you understand your options. Contact us today and learn if we may be able to help you.