All You Need To Know About Petit Theft in Florida
Under Florida Law, petit theft is when someone takes or tries to take somebody else’s property which has a value below $300. In short, this means when someone takes another person’s property with the intention of not returning it so that the owner is deprived of having the item in his/her possession. To be convicted of petit theft the police and prosecutor have to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to deprive the owner of its use.
Charges for petit theft
Petit theft of the first degree takes place when a person steals property which has a value ranging between $100 and $300. However, a petit theft charge can be brought against anyone who is accused of taking an item with a value of less than $100. This classified as petit theft in the second degree.
In Florida, a petit theft charge can be lifted to grand theft of the third degree when the item has a value which exceeds $300. This can take place if the item taken fits specific criteria. This does include fire extinguishers, stop signs and objects found on construction sites.
The penalties for petit theft
The penalties for a petit theft conviction depend on the crime’s classification. Petit theft of the 2nd degree is a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree. However, petit theft of the 1st degree is classified as a 1st degree misdemeanor. A 60 day jail term or less is the penalty for petit theft in the 2nd degree. On top of this a fine of $500 or less could also be imposed plus paying back the value of the stolen property.
Petit theft in the 1st degree could result in spending up to 12 months in jail. Also, it could attract in addition fine reaching $1,000 and paying back the value of the stolen property. On top of the above penalties the defendant may be required to pay the victim’s criminal attorney fees and any court fees due to the case.
Driver’s license suspension
For any degree of petit theft the defendant could face a suspension of his/her driver’s license for a period of no more than six months. If there are many misdemeanor convictions the time of suspension of the driver’s license could reach 12 months. This is the sort of penalty that no one wants.
Petit theft compared to grand theft
Anyone who has gone one step further and stolen property valued at more than $300 under Florida Law this is called grand theft and is treated as a felony. The consequences are harsh and the defendant can expect to be in prison for up to five years and pay up to $5,000 in fines.
One of the worst features of a criminal conviction for either petit or grand theft is that it gives the defendant a criminal record which could last a lifetime leading to job loss, inability to get a loan and traveling overseas.
No one wants a criminal record but there is only one way of avoiding this outcome and that is talking to Albert Quirantes Esq. an experienced Miami based criminal defense attorney who works hard to prove his clients are innocent. Contact his Law Firm at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.