Theft is the offense of taking another person’s property without their consent. There are two main categories for theft, petit and grand. The main factors that differentiate the two are value and what was stolen. Theft can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, it mainly depends on the type of theft.
Florida Statute 812.014 : Theft Defined
(1) A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:
(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.
Petit theft is split into two degrees. First degree petit theft is when the stolen property amounts to anywhere between $100 – $300. Second degree petit theft is stolen property that’s total value is less than $100. Petit theft is a misdemeanor offense with a possible jail sentence of up to 12 months. If the individual has been convicted twice or more times in the past for petit theft then it will become a felony of the third degree for the next arrest.
Compared to petit theft, grand theft is a more serious offense. Grand theft is a third degree felony and is defined as the illegal taking of another person’s property that costs more than $300. The maximum prison sentence for grand theft is 5 years with the potential of up to 5 years probation.
The following offenses can constitute as grand theft of the third degree if the theft includes:
- Property valued at less than $20,000
- A motor vehicle
- Any commercially farmed animal
- Any fire extinguisher
- More than 2,000 individual pieces of citrus fruit
- Any property taken from a construction site
- Any stop sign
- Anhydrous ammonia, or
- Any amount of a controlled substance
The following offenses can constitute as grand theft of the second degree if the theft includes:
- Property valued between $10,000 – $20,000
- Medical equipment valued more than $300
- police equipment valued more than $300
The following offenses can constitute as grand theft of the first degree if the theft includes:
- Property valued between $20,000 – $100,000
- Any grand theft caused property damage that valued to $1,000 or more
- The individual used a motor vehicle to assist in the grand theft
Theft can either be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the items stolen. Along with a possible jail or prison sentence, you can face other penalties. In Florida, if you committed a misdemeanor theft then your license can be suspended for no more than 6 months for a first conviction. After a second conviction the license suspension cannot last longer than 12 months. They also may be expected to fully compensate the victims the amount that was stolen or a higher amount than the original value. Along with covering the cost of the items fees, they may also have to compensate any fees the victim had to pay. Fees may include lawyer and court fees.